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Milind Deora in Eknath Shinde Sena: Who gains and how?

Updated on: 15 January,2024 04:13 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Sameer Surve |

Milind likely to get a Rajya Sabha seat, while his arrival boosts Shinde within a crucial business constituency in south Mumbai

Milind Deora in Eknath Shinde Sena: Who gains and how?

Ex-Congress leader joins Shinde Sena at Varsha Bungalow. Pic/Shadab Khan

Gandhi family confidant Milind Deora shocked the grand old party on Sunday by announcing that he was severing his family’s 55-year-old ties with the Congress party and joining the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena. He was accompanied by important business community members, mainly from south Mumbai, including diamond merchants, goldsmiths, religious leaders, and traders when he formally joined the Shinde-led Sena at Varsha bungalow on Sunday.

Sources said he is likely to get a Rajya Sabha seat as Shiv Sena leader Anil Desai’s tenure in April 2024 comes to an end. A two-time Member of Parliament from south Mumbai, he was also accompanied by five corporators and an office bearer of the Congress party. Milind used to be a member of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s core com-mittee. His father, former Union minister Murli Deora, was also a confidant of the Gandhi family.

Milind used to be a member of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s core committee. Pic/Shadab Khan
Milind used to be a member of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s core committee. Pic/Shadab Khan

“Yes. I broke off the 55-year-old relations with the Congress party because I have been in favour of develop-ment. He (Eknath Shinde) is a very grounded person even as chief minister and has been working for the im-provement of the common man. Shinde invited me to join the party as he was probably confident that after becoming a Member of Parliament, I could work at the ground level. Leaving the Congress party was a very difficult decision for me, but the party has changed now. I took this decision as I like the development, and the chief minister and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision has been focused on that,” he said.

According to sources, the BJP is willing to contest elections from south Mumbai. In the past, united Shiv Sena contested elections in this constituency. Arvind Sawant of Shiv Sena UBT is the MP of the constituency. A few days earlier, Deora had demanded from Congress that he contest the election from this constituency.

Six seats of Rajya Sabha, which are elected from the state assembly, will be vacant in April. To be elected as an MP, candidates need the support of 45 votes; Shinde’s Shiv Sena has the support of more than 45 MLAs.

During the speech, Chief Minister Shinde said, “We are a party that can work on the ground level. A party needs a leader who works on the ground. Any party can’t survive if leaders stop working at the ground level. Milind Deora has come with a treasure of a huge bunch of people, but this is just a trailer. The full picture will be released soon. Deora came with a business community that will help us develop Mumbai.”

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said, “The timing of switching the party seems to be decided by PM Modi (January 14, also marks the beginning of Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra). Deora messaged me on Friday. We had talked about this. Deora said he is concerned that it is a sitting Shiv Sena seat. He wanted to meet Rahul Gandhi and explain the situation to him, and he also wanted me to talk to Rahul about it. His father Murli Deora had close friends in all political parties but was a stalwart Congressman who always stood by the Congress party through thick and thin.”

Meanwhile, BJP state president Chandrashekhar Bwankule claimed that not every entry into the party is for Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha elections. There is a huge queue to join the three parties of our Maharashtra. Because people believe in the vision of the Prime Minister.

April 2024
Month when RS seat will get vacant

No of years Deoras have been associated with Congress

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