Will Uddhav Thackeray be able to save the sinking ship from Shiv Sena?

Bal Thackeray had a clear plan and vision for his Shiv Sainiks. What does your child have in store for your frustrated picture today?

Uddhav Thackeray. (Photo: PTI)

For two and a half years, Uddhav Thackeray and his Mahavikas Aghadi (MVA) thwarted all the conspiracies of the Bharatiya Janata Party to overthrow him and his government. And with each success he became stronger and more confident that his government would end his term.

The BJP, enraged by the snatching of a state from its claws, made several attempts to dig up the roots of the MVA. He gave free rein to the TV channels that worked for him and his presenter friends, but Thackeray resisted all these attacks.

The personality of Sharad Pawar was that of the guardian of this government, who guided Thackeray in all matters. But Thackeray is not a puppet. It has its own personality. He is politically astute and had a clear mark on many of his decisions.

It was seen that the three coalition partners — the Shivsena, the Nationalist Congress Party, and Congress — were working in tandem despite the small fights, and the general public was quite happy with Thackeray. His calm attitude, his efforts to give good government to the state and above all his success in keeping the peace made him the worship of the people.

Even those who had always been critical of Shiv Sena for his unbridled behavior and who feared Shiv Sena — after all, are children of Bal Thackeray — also revolutionaries of the party under his leadership. He was delighted and surprised to see the exchange. The avalanche of emotional messages on the internet after his resignation, which he delivered with his calm, quiet family style, was quite revealing.

Congress or NCP was considered the weakest link in this government, but the biggest blow to the government was not theirs, but Uddhav’s own party mockers mocked him. Eknath Shinde, a staunch loyalist to the party, led the rebellion against Uddhav and took a large number of deputies.

Many observers are perplexed as to why Thackeray’s party network or intelligence agencies did not warn him about the spark of rebellion raging against him. This is not only a big accident for him and his party, but it shows weak administration. Here Uddhav’s simple personality didn’t work for him.

It is now these qualities that Thackeray – his ability to endure with coalition partners and the abandonment of the aggressive Hindutva – have been cited by Shinde along with several MPs as the reason for the revolt against him. Nearly a third of the army’s legislative party has also left and Shinde, who has spoken on her behalf, says that is the reason for her discomfort.

It is not known what their opinion (deputies) is, but today or tomorrow they will have to respond to their supporters and allies.

Thackeray has only 16 deputies left after a dignified abdication after talking about being betrayed by his own confidants. He was also being attracted to Shinde. But Thackeray will have to think beyond that immediate problem. They know clearly that they have been defeated, so the ground test in the House was nothing more than a formality.

His real concern is for the future, more of Shiv Sena than of himself. He has a responsibility to protect the political legacy of his father, Bal Thackeray, who founded the Shiv Sena in 1966 and turned it into a powerful political force by adding every brick. Uddhav would not want to be remembered as a man who cannot handle this legacy.

It will have to rebuild the Shiv Sena and restore it as a relevant force in Maharashtra politics. And so, without wasting time, he will have to work to regain the confidence of his cadre, who at the moment find himself completely ignorant and depressed and discouraged.

No doubt the Shinde rebellion has raised a question that may already be going on in the minds of many Shiv Sainiks personally: where is Uddhav leading the party. It is not just a matter of planning and vision, nor are they clear about the direction of the army.

The party cadre has only understood to avoid Hindutva and the dominant style of the party, which in the past has given electoral benefits to the party. Without them, how will Shiv Sena of the NCP and even Congress be different?

While founding the party, Bal Thackeray had advanced a clear agenda: Marathi Manush should get more jobs. He then discovered villains among the madrasas; Those whom I called ‘lungiwalas’, who were the reason for the lack of jobs: they came from outside and were taking the jobs available to the people who spoke Marathi. I will get you these jobs – it was a simple idea that appealed to young people, who had not seen any material change in their lives since the formation of the state of Maharashtra in 1960.

Whether or not these original promises have been fulfilled is an important question, but certainly Marathis dominate jobs in the municipal corporation and state government. One cannot live without feeling a sense of confidence in Marathi-speaking people.

Over time the goals changed. First the target was the North Indians, then the Muslims, who benefited enormously in the 1995 elections, when Shiv Sena formed the government with the BJP. These elections took place after the largest riots in Bombay history in 1992-93, when soldiers attacked Muslims and killed hundreds of people.

Thackeray was the eldest “Sarkar”, but he still had to face the rebellion of three trusted people: Chhagan Bhujbal, Narayan Rane and his beloved nephew Raj Thackeray, who hurt him the most. But this did not harm the army and the credit goes to the unwavering allegiance of the Shiv Sainiks.

When Bal Thackeray died in 2012, the party was in a strong position and in 2014 won the election as a junior member of the BJP; This victory was repeated in 2019, but Uddhav Thackeray decided to break this relationship and form a government with NCP and Congress.

He has now suffered a major blow, which will cost him a lot to recover. They must have a new idea: the job scenario has changed and young people in Maharashtra, like any other state, are also looking for new opportunities in the private sector. Shinde, backed by the BJP, has taken on the Hindu question; Uddhav can prove Hindutva’s bet, but in doing so he will be just one more candidate for the Hindutva polling station. The question is, what is new to give Uddhav?

Along with that is there also a name issue? Who will receive this name? Shinde can claim to be the real Shiv Sena and has already whipped Uddhav supporters. This problem will be solved by the Electoral Commission or perhaps the Court. But the effect of this struggle will be detrimental.

For the BJP, the removal of Shiv Sena forever is an important place on his agenda. Uddhav knows this. Perhaps Shinde knows this too: he will also realize that he will have to proceed with great care and not only remain a puppet, but will have to keep his faction alive.

But Uddhav faces a bigger challenge than he does: he must make sure his party survives this crisis and regains its former glory once again. Therefore, he will have to deal with the collapse of Shiv Sena’s Naya from that very moment.

(Click here to read this article in English.)

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Tagged as: Bal Thackeray, BJP, Mumbai, Devendra Fadanvis, Eknath Shinde, Floor Test, Maha Vikas Aghadi, Maharashtra, Maharashtra assembly, Maharashtra Political Crisis, Maharashtra Politics, Mumbai, News, Politics, Shiv Sena-BJP Govt, Shivsena, Wire English, Uddhav Thackeray

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