Shiv Sena lawmakers step in to broker peace, hold talks with Shinde’s son | Latest News India

As Eknath Shinde’s band of rebels swells and the Shiv Sena stares at a vertical split, a group of party MPs (Sena has 19 Lok Sabha MPs and 3 Rajya Sabha MPs) has begun brokering peace between the warring factions.

This ginger group comprising five MPs has initiated the rapprochement by softening up their parliamentary colleague Shrikant Shinde, sitting member of Parliament from Kalyan, and Eknath Shinde’s son. While his father is in Guwahati with the majority of legislators supporting his bid to overthrow the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Uddhav Thackeray, Shinde is holding the fort in Thane. On Monday, he led a protest at Anand Math, the Shiv Sena’s headquarter in Thane, and was also part of the group that burnt an effigy of Sanjay Raut. Shrikant Shinde told supporters that Raut’s tall tales were better suited to film scripts than political rhetoric.

The posturing aside, the Track-II group says they have held multiple conversations with Shrikant Shinde trying to stress the importance of keeping the party united. “We are trying to de-escalate tensions and to ensure that there are no more clashes between party men on the roads of Mumbai and Thane,” said one MP who spoke on the condition that his identity be not revealed. “Those beating up are Shiv Sainiks, and those who are being beaten up are also Shiv Sainiks, and eventually they will face the brunt of action by the police. This fratricidal war will hurt the Shiv Sena and set it back… it takes years to groom political activists,” he added. Several texts to Dr Shrikant Shinde about the efforts of the ginger group went unanswered.

The peace brokers are optimistic, and point to past instance when Ajit Pawar had taken oath with Devendra Fadnavis in 2019 but was brought back to the party fold at the instance of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar. They hope that they, too, can effect a similar patch up.

“We are speaking to Shrikant (Shinde). He is a friend. We want the organisation to be intact under Uddhav saheb, with everyone standing united. We are trying to convince Shrikant to bring his father around,” said another MP from this group, while a third member said they have also stressed to Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to adopt a conciliatory tone with the rebels and the need for the two warring groups to reconcile.

They have also initiated back channel talks with a couple of MLAs in Guwahati but refused to disclose the nature of the discussions. The ginger group is aware their task is Herculean, with one of them saying, “The bitterness between the Shiv Sena leadership and the BJP is intense now, and the Sena leadership feels that we must stand with the Congress and NCP as they have supported us during this crisis, leaving little room for a rapprochement with the BJP.” And it’s them after all who are fomenting this in the first place, he added.

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