Controversial Shiv Sena Ad Sparks Backlash Over Omission of Balasaheb Thackeray and Devendra Fadnavis


An advertisement released by Shiv Sena featuring Eknath Shinde has ignited a brewing controversy in Maharashtra. The ad boldly asserts that Shinde, as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, is more popular than Devendra Fadnavis, citing a survey conducted by Zee TV-Matrize. According to the survey, 26.1% of people in Maharashtra prefer Shinde as the chief minister, while 23.2% support Fadnavis. However, the advertisement’s intention was not to create a rift between Shinde and Fadnavis but rather to highlight the support for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance, which garnered the backing of 49.3% of the people. Nevertheless, the omission of prominent figures like Balasaheb Thackeray and Devendra Fadnavis in the ad has raised eyebrows and invited scrutiny.BJP distances itself from minister Chandrakant Patil's remark on Shiv Sena's role in Babri Masjid demolition | Mumbai News, The Indian Express

Explosive Shiv Sena Ad Sparks Backlash Over Omission of Balasaheb Thackeray and Devendra Fadnavis

The advertisement prominently featured a photograph of Eknath Shinde alongside Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with Shiv Sena’s bow and arrow symbol. The ad praised the duo as a “dream team” loved by all and commended their collaboration, attributing the success of recent welfare projects in Maharashtra to their partnership. However, Uddhav Sena MP Sanjay Raut was quick to point out the absence of Balasaheb Thackeray’s image, raising questions about the party’s allegiances. Raut remarked, “It used to be Balasaheb’s Shiv Sena earlier, but the advertisement has cleared the air. It has now become Modi-Shah’s Shiv Sena. Where is the image of the late Balasaheb Thackeray?”

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Eknath Shinde attempted to downplay any perceived rivalry between himself and Devendra Fadnavis portrayed in the advertisement, emphasizing that both of them received positive ratings. He highlighted their joint efforts in leading the state and driving overall development while actively involving the entire cabinet. Shinde stated, “The Deputy CM and I have received positive ratings. We are leading the state and propelling it forward. The Deputy CM and I are dedicated to comprehensive development, working in harmony with the entire cabinet. Ultimately, it is the people’s perception that matters.”BJP says it does not endorse its minister's remark denying Shiv Sena role in Babri Masjid

In a separate incident, Devendra Fadnavis canceled an event in Kohlapur that was attended by Eknath Shinde, citing health reasons. The Shiv Sena-BJP government clarified that there were no political motivations behind the cancellation.

The advertisement has also drawn criticism from NCP leader Ajit Pawar, who expressed astonishment at its content. Pawar remarked that in his entire political career, he had never seen such an advertisement. He pointed out the absence of photographs of Balasaheb Thackeray and Anand Dighe, stating, “They (Shiv Sena) claim to be soldiers of Balasaheb Thackeray, but Balasaheb Thackeray’s and Anand Dighe’s photos were missing from the advertisement.”

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The controversy surrounding the advertisement has sparked public outrage, with many questioning Shiv Sena’s stance and allegiance. The omission of Balasaheb Thackeray and Devendra Fadnavis has raised concerns about the party’s shifting dynamics and the growing influence of figures like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah within the party. The messaging and selective visuals used in the ad have only deepened the divide and sparked further debate within the political landscape of Maharashtra.

Explosive Shiv Sena Ad Triggers Backlash Over Controversial Omission of Balasaheb Thackeray and Devendra Fadnavis

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This controversy serves as a reminder of the complex dynamics and power struggles within political parties. Decisions regarding image representation and messaging can have far-reaching consequences, shaping public opinion and altering the course of political alliances. The fallout

from this advertisement highlights the importance of careful consideration and transparency in political communications to avoid sowing seeds of discontent and division among supporters. The unfolding events will undoubtedly shed more light on the ramifications of this controversy and its impact on the political climate of Maharashtra.

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Furthermore, the controversy surrounding the advertisement has reignited discussions about the legacy of Balasaheb Thackeray, the founder of Shiv Sena, and his pivotal role in shaping the party’s ideology and identity. Many loyalists and supporters of Shiv Sena find it disconcerting that the ad failed to pay homage to Balasaheb Thackeray, whose contributions were instrumental in establishing the party’s stronghold in Maharashtra.Claims of Shiv Sena executing Babri Masjid demolition incorrect, says Patil | Pune News, The Indian Express

The exclusion of Devendra Fadnavis, the former Chief Minister of Maharashtra and a prominent leader in the state, raises further questions about the motivations behind the advertisement. Critics argue that this deliberate omission hints at a shift in the party’s focus and a realignment of loyalties. Fadnavis’ absence, as a key figure in Maharashtra politics, suggests a possible marginalization of his influence within the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance.

As the controversy unfolds, it emphasizes the need for political parties to carefully navigate their messaging and image representation, ensuring inclusivity and transparency. The advertisement’s fallout serves as a lesson for parties to be mindful of their actions and to address the concerns of their loyalists while maintaining political alliances and navigating internal power dynamics. The developments that follow will shape the future trajectory of Shiv Sena and its standing in the political landscape of Maharashtra.


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