Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray at the inauguration of a zoological park in Nagpur on Tuesday. (CMO)
Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray at the inauguration of a zoological park in Nagpur on Tuesday. (CMO)

Mission Vidarbha: Uddhav Thackeray looks to increase Sena’s base

Maharashtra chief minister Makes four visits to the region in two months; says Vidarbha’s blood courses through his veins, will bring in development.
By Swapnil Rawal, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 01:18 AM IST

In a bid to expand the Shiv Sena’s footprint in Vidarbha, chief minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray has turned his focus on development of the region in eastern Maharashtra, where, traditionally, his party has been weak. In the past two months, Thackeray has made four visits to districts in Vidarbha to take stock of various government events and even to inaugurate some.

Thackeray, during the inauguration of a zoological park in Nagpur on Tuesday, said that “Vidarbha’s blood runs through [his] veins”. Since December, Thackeray visited Amravati district to oversee the progress on the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi project. On January 4, he virtually inaugurated the legislative secretariat office in Nagpur. On January 8, Thackeray visited Nagpur, Bhandara and Chandrapur districts in the region to see the Gosikhurd irrigation project and a highway crossing project in Ghodsari, Chandrapur district. “My grandmother was from Paratwadi [in Amravati district]. No one should try to teach us love for Vidarbha. We have a blood relation with Vidarbha,” Thackeray said, adding he will do whatever is needed for Nagpur.

In an apparent jibe at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the CM said: “Some people are spreading misinformation about us [Shiv Sena], and this [campaign] will end now. Projects like Surajgad [in Gadchiroli] can change the face of the entire Vidarbha. I want to pave the way for the development of Vidarbha.”

Vidarbha region has 62 Assembly seats and 10 Lok Sabha constituencies. Traditionally, a large chunk of the Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies from the region went to the BJP, in the alliance between the Sena and BJP, leading to stunted growth of the Sena in Vidarbha. Both the BJP as well as the Congress have strong presence in the region, while the Shiv Sena and the NCP have not managed to make inroads beyond a few pockets. Post the realignment of political alliances in the state, the Sena is looking to fortify its presence in the region that could help increase its numbers in the elections.

“It is not that we do not have our organisation, workers and leaders in Vidarbha. But we never could convert it in electoral terms. Now that Uddhav ji is the chief minister, we can personally steer the development in the region that has been neglected by successive governments,” the senior functionary said, requesting anonymity.

The BJP’s hold on the region is weakening over the period now. In 2014, the BJP won 44 seats in the region, which decreased to 29 in the 2019 elections.

The Shiv Sena, which had won four seats against the BJP in 2014, managed to retain them in the 2019 elections that was contested in an alliance. Prahar Janashakti Party of Bacchu Kadu, which won two seats – Achalpur and Melghat in Amravati district – has increased the strength of the Sena in the region.

A senior leader from Vidarbha said that with the BJP losing grip in the region, it would benefit the Shiv Sena and not just the Congress. The BJP lost its citadel in Nagpur to the Congress in MLC graduates’ election held in December 2020. Subsequently, the Sena performed better than expected in Vidarbha’s Nagpur district in the recently held gram panchayat election. The party claims to have won at least 10 gram panchayats in the rural areas of the Nagpur district.

“When Uddhav ji spoke about developing Vidarbha, he spoke as the chief minister of Maharashtra, not as Shiv Sena president. With him being the CM and the weakening of the BJP, this would be the right time to build the party to gain electorally here. The Shiv Sena can be the alternative that people want,” the leader from Vidarbha said, requesting anonymity.

Political analyst Surendra Jondhale said the Sena can win mass base in the region by giving more industries, jobs and alleviating farmers’ distress in the region. He added that principally, the Sena has always been against carving out Vidarbha. “Since the beginning, the Sena’s electoral footprint was Mumbai, Thane, Nashik, and later Marathwada. At that time, the Congress had a sizeable influence in Vidarbha. The BJP entered late but still managed to gain a foothold. Now, if the Sena wants to gain mass base, it will have to give more economic packages to Vidarbha, create agro-industries, develop tourism and resolve farmers’ issues. Vidarbha, like Marathwada, records farmers’ suicides each year. If Uddhav Thackeray government can touch these points, it will dilute the feeling of discrimination that the people of the region have and they can gain electorally,” Jondhale said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
A medic in PPE takes a swab sample for during RT-PCR based coronavirus testing at NMMC Hospital Nerul in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra. (Bachchan Kumar/ Hindustan Times)
A medic in PPE takes a swab sample for during RT-PCR based coronavirus testing at NMMC Hospital Nerul in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra. (Bachchan Kumar/ Hindustan Times)

Maharashtra’s daily Covid-19 cases remain below 8,000 for second straight day

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shankhyaneel Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 09:44 PM IST
  • With 54 deaths on Tuesday, Maharashtra’s death toll reached 52,238.
Close
Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh told Fadnavis that celebrities are not being investigated but it is the BJP IT cell which remains in focus. (HT Photo)
Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh told Fadnavis that celebrities are not being investigated but it is the BJP IT cell which remains in focus. (HT Photo)

Probe not against Tendulkar or Lata Mangeshkar but against BJP IT cell: Deshmukh

By hindustantimes.com, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 04:59 PM IST
  • Deshmukh on February 8 ordered a probe to check if Indian celebrities were forced to tweet by the BJP to counter the tweets posted by international celebrities who tweeted criticising the government’s handling of the farm laws.
Close
Senior citizen registering to get their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination, at BKC in Mumbai, India, on Monday, March 1. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)
Senior citizen registering to get their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination, at BKC in Mumbai, India, on Monday, March 1. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Technical glitches in CoWIN cause crowding at Mumbai’s BKC vaccination centre

By Mehul R Thakkar
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 04:13 PM IST
On Monday, 1,981 beneficiaries from this category were vaccinated at eight vaccination centres in Mumbai. Now, the number of vaccination centres for this category of beneficiaries is 25 in Mumbai
Close
Representational Image.
Representational Image.

Mumbai man arrested for raping woman on pretext of marriage

By Vijay Kumar Yadav
UPDATED ON MAR 02, 2021 09:39 PM IST
The woman filed a case in Mumbai against Sunit Waghmare after he refused to marry her. The case was later shifted to Lonavla as Waghmare first allegedly raped the woman at a resort there in 2019
Close
The Bombay high court. (HT archive)
The Bombay high court. (HT archive)

No relief to rape accused, he got consent by ‘concealing facts’: Bombay HC

By Kanchan Chaudhari
UPDATED ON MAR 02, 2021 02:17 PM IST
The Aurangabad bench refused to quash a case against a 31-year-old for allegedly raping a woman after promising her marriage, saying he did not tell her his parents will never let them marry because of her ‘lower caste status’
Close
A Mumbai railway station during the morning hours. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo )
A Mumbai railway station during the morning hours. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo )

5-fold increase in platform ticket price in key stations in Mumbai. List here

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Mallika Soni
UPDATED ON MAR 02, 2021 04:24 PM IST
The decision was taken to avoid overcrowding on the platforms.
Close
"Small shopkeepers could not do business during the lockdown. Now you are asking them to pay bills. From where are they going to pay it? So, there is a big problem," the former chief minister said.(PTI)
"Small shopkeepers could not do business during the lockdown. Now you are asking them to pay bills. From where are they going to pay it? So, there is a big problem," the former chief minister said.(PTI)

Farmers suffered losses during lockdown, now facing power supply cut: Fadnavis

PTI, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:16 PM IST
Without naming state Energy Minister and Congress leader Nitin Raut, Fadnavis said the former had talked about giving relief to lockdown-hit consumers, but instead power tariff was increased.
Close
Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari (left) and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. (Vijayanand Gupta/HT Photo)
Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari (left) and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. (Vijayanand Gupta/HT Photo)

Maharashtra: Amid govt-guv tussle, dev boards, MLC appointments in a limbo

PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:12 PM IST
While the governor is yet to approve the names, the government is yet to extend the term of development boards of Vidarbha and Marathwada region for another five years
Close
Partho Dasgupta, former CEO of BARC India. (PTI)
Partho Dasgupta, former CEO of BARC India. (PTI)

TRP scam: Bombay high court grants bail to former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta

By KAY Dodhiya
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 12:08 PM IST
The bail conditions stipulate that Dasgupta has to visit the crime branch on every first Saturday of the month for six months
Close
Further investigations are needed to find out in which country the virus attack originated, said the minister.(AFP File Photo)
Further investigations are needed to find out in which country the virus attack originated, said the minister.(AFP File Photo)

Maharashtra cyber police suspects cyber attack behind Mumbai power outage

By Faisal Malik, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 08:45 AM IST
  • Cyber police report says some 14 trojan horses - a virus often disguised as a legitimate software- may have been introduced in the server of the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) last October when power failure crippled Mumbai for more than two hours.
Close
Rucha Salgaonkar, matron of BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
Rucha Salgaonkar, matron of BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

Tales of pandemic: Each day was a blur, says matron of BYL Nair Hospital, Mumbai

By Shreya Bhandary, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:38 AM IST
For 52-year-old Rucha Salgaonkar, who was assigned the post of matron at BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai Central in March 2020, the first assignment was to prepare a Covid ward.
Close
Atik Khan outside Sion hospital in Mumbai. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)
Atik Khan outside Sion hospital in Mumbai. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Tales of pandemic: Worked 5 days in a row, says 108 ambulance driver

By Rupsa Chakraborty, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:35 AM IST
Atik Khan, 43, an ambulance driver with 108 ambulance service operated by the Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services (MEMS), was on a night shift when the national lockdown was declared on March 24, 2020.
Close
Senior citizens register to get their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine at BKC jumbo Covid centre in Mumbai on Monday. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)
Senior citizens register to get their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine at BKC jumbo Covid centre in Mumbai on Monday. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Informed at last minute, 3 Mumbai hospitals scrambled to get ready for vaccination

By Rupsa Chakraborty, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:31 AM IST
After being informed on Sunday that they have been shortlisted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for the third phase of vaccination, HJ Doshi Hindu Sabha Hospital, KJ Somaiya Medical College and SRCC Children’s Hospital scrambled to prepare for beneficiaries on Monday.
Close
The supplementary statement of expenditure 2020-21 was tabled by the deputy chief minister and finance minister Ajit Pawar in the state assembly on Monday. (HT File)
The supplementary statement of expenditure 2020-21 was tabled by the deputy chief minister and finance minister Ajit Pawar in the state assembly on Monday. (HT File)

Budget session: Maharashtra govt tables supplementary demands worth 21,076 crore

PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:27 AM IST
Supplementary budget refers to additional expenditure required for the year for unforeseen expenses over and above the annual budget
Close
A senior citizen gets her first dose of Covid vaccine at BKC jumbo Covid centre in Mumbai on Monday. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)
A senior citizen gets her first dose of Covid vaccine at BKC jumbo Covid centre in Mumbai on Monday. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Maharashtra sees slight dip in Covid cases with 6,000 new ones

By Naresh Kamath, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 01:25 AM IST
While battling glitches on the CoWIN app, 4,723 members of the general public received the first shot of the vaccine on Monday. The state also saw the number of new cases of Covid-19 fall to the 6,000 range after hovering above 8,000 for the past five days.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP