‘Power’ has some new addresses in Maharashtra with the change of guard at the helm of the state.
With Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray steering both the state and the ‘unusual’ alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress, here are some important centres which will be aflutter with political activity.
1. Matoshree: Thackerays’ Power Seat
The residence of the Thackeray family, located in Bandra-East, has been abuzz with political activity since the 1970s.
So much so that when the erstwhile Shiv Sena-BJP government was in power between 1995-1999, the late Sena supremo Bal Thackeray described Matoshree as the “remote control” of the alliance.
The three-storey bungalow has a dedicated space for party activities, with a conference room and a few office chambers on the ground floor. The second floor, where the Thackeray supremo resided, is kept locked and is open only for select guests. The third floor is occupied by Uddhav and Rashmi Thackeray, along with their two sons – newly elected MLA Aaditya, and Tejas Thackeray.
In the past, the Matoshree has been visited by political stalwarts as well as celebrities from the entertainment industry including Michael Jackson.
2. Varsha: Maharashtra CM’s Official Residence
Unlike before, the Thackerays do not have “remote control” but a ‘direct control’ of the chief minister’s chair, with Uddhav now having to divide his time between Varsha and Matoshree.
Located in Malabar Hill, the ‘palatial bungalow’, is being vacated by former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Thackeray is yet to announce when he will be moving into the official residence and is expected to divide his meetings between his family residence and his official residence.
The bungalow is less than 8 km from the Mantralaya, the Maharashtra Assembly.
3. Silver Oaks: Pawar’s Power House
Unlike the Thackerys’ Matoshree, Silver Oaks, where Sharad Pawar resides, is not used to political flutter.
Located in South Mumbai's Breach Candy, the senior Pawar lives with his wife Pratibha on the ground floor, while his daughter and MP Supriya Sule’s family lives on the first floor, said a Mumbai Mirror report.
While Pawar has limited his political interactions and meeting to Yashwantrao Chavan Pratishthan near Nariman Point, the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly results have changed that.
The house first came into the limelight with Uddhav and Aaditya Thackeray visiting the Pawars at their residence to talk about an alliance on 21 November, and later, when Ajit Pawar visited Silver Oaks after resigning from the Fadnavis cabinet.
‘Official’ Power Centres
4. Yashwantrao Chavan Pratishthan
While the NCP headquarters is located in Nariman Point, the swanky Yashwantrao Chavan Pratishthan Convention Centre is frequented quite often by NCP leaders for party meetings, especially those headed by Sharad Pawar.
The senior Pawar is also known to hold his one-on-one meetings in the Convention Centre and not at the party headquarters.
When the news of Ajit Pawar’s ‘rebellion’ came on 23 November morning, all the MLAs were summoned to a meeting at the Centre.
However, the space is also used by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and even the Congress is known to hold political meetings there.
5. Sahyadri State Guest House
While the ‘Mantralaya’ is where the Assembly sits, the Sahyadri State Guest House in Malabar Hill is usually where closed-door meetings are held. Over the last five years, the Fadnavis government held many of their press conferences in the same place.
With the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government also putting in place an alliance coordination committee, Sahyadri is expected to be in the news more often.
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