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Shinde-Fadnavis Come Under Fire Over Shooting Incidents, Opposition Alleges Goonda Raj

Shooting incidents in Maharashtra have brought the Maharashtra government under fire and raised a chorus for the resignation of home minister Devendra Fadnavis. The killing of close aide of Uddhav Thackeray, Abhishek Ghosalkar during a Facebook live as also the shooting in a Ulhasnagar police station by a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator have raised questions of the law and order situation in the state. Parallels are being drawn with Bihar and the Eknath Shinde-led Mahayuti government has come under fire especially from Uddhav Thackeray’s firebrand Sanjay Raut who has demanded implementation of President’s rule in the state. Raut has also been vocal against his bete noire chief minister Eknath Shinde for ‘goonda raj’ and ‘mafia raj’ in Maharashtra. He supported his claims by releasing pictures of gangsters along with Shinde at the state secretariat. The Uddhav faction of the Sena, which is under fire from various agencies, has upped the ante against Shinde and Fadnavis, who it believes are leading the charge to poach their legislators with threats of cases and other means to get them into the ruling alliance. A BJP internal survey in Maharashtra has been unflattering for the party; hence the overdrive to poach political support from other parties. These rising incidents of violence needs to be viewed from the lens of the escalating political tensions amidst the coerced realignments resulting in bitter local equations in the run-up to the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.