Kesarkar Attributes Sena (UBT)’s Mumbai Victory to ‘Fatwas,’ Accuses Pakistan of Conspiracy

Deepak Kesarkar, a Maharashtra minister and Shiv Sena leader, on Wednesday attributed the victory of rival Shiv Sena (UBT) in Mumbai to “fatwas,” claiming that Muslim voters were convinced that former CM Uddhav Thackeray had “forsaken” Hindutva ideologies.

“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,” he said as quoted by news agency ANI.

Kesarkar alleged that Muslim voters were convinced that 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.

Over the past two days, Shiv Sena (UBT) has been painting a different picture in Maharashtra which reflected that Marathi voters are not supporting Shiv Sena, he added.

He further claimed that a conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan to undermine the BJP-led government at the Centre.

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

“The opposition misled the Dalit communities with their false claim that the Citizenship Amendment Act would be changed. 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,” the minister said as quoted by ANI.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) secured seven out of the 15 parliamentary seats it contested in Maharashtra. In the Mumbai region’s six Lok Sabha seats, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) won three, while the Congress, BJP, and Shiv Sena each won one seat.

The opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition, consisting of the Congress, Shiv Sena (UBT), and NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar), secured 31 out of the 48 seats in Maharashtra. Meanwhile, the BJP-led NDA fell significantly short of its goal of winning 45-plus seats, obtaining only 17 seats in the state.

Notably, the ruling Mahayuti coalition, comprising the BJP, Shiv Sena, and Ajit Pawar’s NCP, managed to win just one seat in the Marathwada region, which was the epicenter of the agitation.

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