Why Milind Deora chose to join Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena, and not BJP

As Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Milind Deora bid farewell to the Congress on Sunday (January 14), details have been emerging about the long-time Congress leader trying to find a party that needs his skills.

A photo of ‘Team Rahul’ gets circulated on social media whenever a former Rahul Gandhi camp leader leaves the Congress.

In that old photo, Milind Deora is seen with Jyotiraditya Scindia, RPN Singh, Jitin Prasada and Sachin Pilot.

Except for Sachin Pilot, all the ‘Team Rahul’ leaders have left the party.

Unlike others, Deora is one ‘Team Rahul’ leader who has not joined the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). Jyotiraditya Scindia, RPN Singh and Jitin Prasada all joined the BJP.

There was chatter for several days that Deora would leave the party. On Sunday, he joined the Shiv Sena in the presence of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

It’s being said that the Sena under Shinde is the only party from Maharashtra that can use the skills of the English-speaking Milind Deora with good connections within India’s business community. Mukesh Ambani supporting the campaign of Milind Deora in 2019 was a testimony to the Deora family’s connections with industrialists.

This is one of the reasons that just two days after joining the Shiv Sena, Milind Deora will be seen supporting Eknath Shinde at the World Economic Forum.

Industries Minister, Uday Samant said that Milind Deora is in Davos at his personal expense and has good relations with the founder of the World Economic Forum due to his late father, Murli Deora. This goes to show that Shinde’s Shiv Sena needed a leader who could represent the party on the national and international stage.

Deora is also said to have developed a strong bond with Shinde’s son MP Shrikant Shinde and that party will nominate Milind Deora to the Rajya Sabha in the upcoming polls.

Deora is interested in going back to Parliament and that’s the reason that he switched parties. Milind Deora won the South Mumbai Lok Sabha seat in 2004 and 2009. In 2014 and 2019, he faced defeat.

In 2019, he abruptly resigned from the post of Mumbai Congress President to focus on his constituency.

The challenge for Deora while in Congress was that the South Mumbai seat remained occupied by Lok Sabha MP Arvind Sawant, who stayed back with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) after the Shiv Sena split. It seemed that the seat in the INDIA alliance would go to Uddhav’s Shiv Sena (UBT).

A senior Congress leader said that last Friday, Deora had requested him to convince Rahul Gandhi that the South Mumbai constituency should remain with the Congress. Deora was asked to explain this to Rahul Gandhi.

Milind Deora first contested the Lok Sabha election from the South Mumbai constituency in 2004. Before that, his father Murali Deora represented this constituency for a long time. Milind Deora was one of the youngest MPs in India in 2004.

While an MP, Deora also served on several parliamentary committees. He also served as Minister of State for Defence, Civil Aviation, Planning, Urban Development and Information and Technology.

Despite establishing himself as a visionary, young, professional and cosmopolitan leader, he could not retain his constituency in the Modi wave of 2014. He was defeated in 2019 despite support from businessman Mukesh Ambani.

After two defeats, his political career suffered a major blow, and he also failed to revive the Mumbai Congress in the 2019 polls. With Deora now joining Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena, the party has gained an important leader who has influences in business circles in Mumbai and political circles in New Delhi. And Deora might be able to go to Parliament.

Published By:

Sushim Mukul

Published On:

Jan 17, 2024

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