The Sena had assigned 20 leaders, including Uddhav and his son Aaditya Thackeray, as star campaigners of the party for the MC election.
Mumbai: Evaluating its performance in the recently-held municipal council (MC) elections, the Shiv Sena said party chief Uddhav Thackeray’s limited involvement had cost them dear.
Uddhav will hence hold campaign meetings now. The phase two of the municipal elections is scheduled for December 14. The Sena had assigned 20 leaders, including Uddhav and his son Aaditya Thackeray, as star campaigners of the party for the municipal council election. The team included former chief minister Manohar Joshi, Liladhar Dake, ministers Subhash Desai, Diwakar Raote and Ramdas Kadam, Union minister Anant Gite, MPs Sanjay Raut and Gajanan Kirtikar, Arvind Sawant, Anandrao Adsul, Chandrakant Khaire, Vinayak Raut, party spokesperson Dr Neelam Gorhe, secretary Adesh Bandekar, Sanjay Banugade Patil, Amol Kolhe, Anant Tare and Ravindra Mirlekar.
“However, neither the party chief nor the leaders held campaign meetings at any of the municipal councils during the elections and, hence, the party was only in the fourth position,” said a Sena minister, without revealing his name. “During the 2011 municipal council polls, the Shiv Sena had won 264 seats whereas this time the party doubled its tally by winning 529 seats. If we had taken it seriously, the results would be better,” he said.
In the second phase, the poll for 14 municipal councils in Pune and Latur district will be held on December 14. Pune is the bastion of the Nationalist Congress Party. In the third phase, elections will be held in 20 councils and two nagar panchayats in four districts, namely Aurangabad, Nanded, Bhandara and Gadchiroli on December 18, while the fourth and last phase poll will be held in Nagpur and Gondia district for 11 municipal councils on January 8.
During the first phase, though the Sena came to power in 25 municipal councils as their candidate for president won the election directly from the people, the party remained in the fourth position while BJP grabbed the number one position from the opposition Congress and NCP.
“The conclusion following the meeting held with party ministers and MPs was that the party chief relied completely on his ministers and legislators in this election. If Uddhavji had campaigned and addressed a few of the municipal councils, the result would have been different,” said a senior Sena minister on the condition of anonymity.