Fatwas helped Shiv Sena-UBT win seats in Mumbai: Maharashtra minister Kesarkar

Mumbai, Jun 5 (PTI) Shiv Sena leader Deepak Kesarkar on Wednesday claimed that “fatwas” helped rival Shiv Sena (UBT) win Lok Sabha seats here and Muslim voters were convinced that Uddhav Thackeray has “forsaken” Hindutva ideologies.

The Shiv Sena led by Eknath Shinde won seven of the 15 parliamentary seats it contested in Maharashtra. Of the six Lok Sabha seats in the Mumbai region, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) won three while the Congress, BJP and Shiv Sena got one each.

The opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi of Congress, Shiv Sena (UBT) and NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) pocketed 31 of the 48 seats in Maharashtra while the BJP-led NDA fell significantly short of its target of bagging 45-plus seats in the state, garnering just 17 seats.

Kesarkar said, “The fatwas helped Shiv Sena (UBT) win seats in Mumbai. If you deduct that (minority votes), every Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate would have been defeated by over 1-1.5 lakh votes.”

The Maharashtra minister alleged that Muslim voters were convinced that Uddhav Thackeray had “forsaken” Hindutva ideologies and the ideals of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray which led to them coming together to help the Congress and Shiv Sena (UBT) candidates.

Kesarkar alleged that over the past two days, Shiv Sena (UBT) has been painting a different picture in Maharashtra that Marathi voters are not supporting Shiv Sena.

Shiv Sena secured the support of both Mumbaikars and Marathi voters, he claimed.

Kesarkar also alleged that “a conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan to undermine Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.

“Two ministers in Pakistan advocated for Modi’s defeat and, regrettably, some individuals here paid heed to their calls,” he claimed.

The opposition misled the Dalit communities with their false claim that the Constitution would be changed, Kesarkar said.

While the Maratha movement sparked debates on the Maratha versus OBC dynamics, the election outcomes in certain areas were influenced by this. Consequently, key leaders of the grand alliance suffered defeat, warranting further analysis, he added.

Notably, the ruling Mahayuti coalition won only one seat in the Marathwada region which was the centre of the Maratha agitation. BJP, Shiv Sena and Ajit Pawar’s NCP are the Mahayuti partners.

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