As a severe setback to former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, his personal aide and son of the UBT faction leader Subhash Desai, Bhushan, joined CM Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena on Monday. The action, which comes ahead of the impending Brihanmumbai Municipal Council (BMC) elections
, is seen as a significant change in Maharashtra's political climate.
In the presence of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Bhushan Desai shifted allegiances. His choice is regarded as a significant setback for Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena. Following Thackeray's loss of the Shiv Sena name and electoral symbol to the Shinde group, which the Election Commission had recognised as the "genuine Shiv Sena," comes this.
Subhash Desai, the father of Bhushan Desai, was the Minister of Industry and Mines during the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra and is a trusted confidant of the Thackeray family. On the other hand, Bhushan Desai had been charged in the assembly session in the case of the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) land fraud, for which the government had commissioned an investigation.
Given the impending BMC elections, the decision by Bhushan Desai to join the Shinde faction is being viewed as an important step. Political parties trying to establish a presence in Maharashtra's political scene must work with the BMC, the wealthiest municipal body in all of India. Aaditya Thackeray, the head of the Shiv Sena, responded to the news by saying: "While his father Subhash Desai has been a member of UBT (group) for a long time, Bhushan Desai is not currently an active member. Anyone can leap into a washing machine if they so choose."
Uddhav Thackeray had already filed a petition with the Supreme Court in opposition to the Election Commission's choice to give the Shinde faction the Shiv Sena name and symbol. The defence attorney for Uddhav Thackeray's side asserted during the court that their group was supported by the majority of the party's participants and that Bal Thackeray, the party's founder, had acknowledged them as the legitimate Shiv Sena. Additionally, they contended that the Eknath Shinde-led side had been established unlawfully.