It seems that the major split in Shiv Sena that brought down the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra has changed the public perception about the leadership of the party.The undisputed leadership of Thackerays over Shiv Sena faced a major jolt with the rebellion of Eknath Shinde last month.
Almost 40 of 55 party MLAs broke away under the leadership of Shinde, who replaced Thackeray as chief minister of the state. Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Nawrekar has recognised the Shinde faction as the legislature party.
After the division in the Assembly, Shiv Sena's parliamentary party is staring at a split, as 12 of 19 party's Lok Sabha MPs are reportedly backing Shinde. They even attended a virtual meeting chaired by Shinde.
With these latest developments the question that comes to mind is Who heads the real Shiv Sena now?CVoter-IndiaTracker conducted a nationwide survey on behalf of IANS to know people's views on the issue.
During the survey, Indians were divided in their opinion with a bigger proportion of respondents stressing that Shinde has emerged as the new chief of the real Shiv Sena now. As per the survey data, while 54 per cent respondents believe that Shinde has successfully established its leadership over real Shiv Sena, 46 per cent disagreed and opined in favour of Thackeray.
During the survey, views of both the opposition and NDA voters were divided about leadership of Shiv Sena, with a bigger proportion of respondents from both the camps replying in favour of Shinde. According to the survey data, 59 per cent of opposition voters and 51 per cent of NDA supporters believe that Shinde has replaced the leadership of Thackeray over Shiv Sena.
The survey data further revealed that while the majority of rural voters 61 per cent think that Shinde has established its hold over Shiv Sena, views of urban voters were divided on the issue. During the survey, while 52 per cent of urban voters said Thackeray's dominance over Shiv Sena is intact, 48 per cent urban respondents did not share the sentiment and asserted that Shinde is the new leader of the party.