Upset and humiliated Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena might have denied reports about any rift with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), but everyone knows that he was sidelined by BJP after his father’s death. I remember, once Balasaheb Thackeray in “Saamana” wrote that over the years, Indian politics has witnessed many “jokers”; starting with Raj Narain till antics Lalu Prasad Yadav, and many others. However, he has forgotten that those jokers had their own existence and wisdom. They were neither made nor blessed by their dad to remain in power or position. What is Uddhav’s caliber and contribution towards Maharashtra and politics? His only identity is he is Balasaheb’s son.
There are many disputes between Sena and BJP workers. After Balasaheb’s death, instead of being humble, Uddhav chose to be aggressive and arrogant. His too much dictatorship has even bothered his party’s senior leaders. Balasaheb had a different way of commanding altogether, he used to demand respect. Uddhav is a failed leader and whatever position he has today, it is an example of dynasty. He has not earned it but grabbed it. This is one of the main reasons why Raj Thackeray has walked out of his party and formed his own Sena. Today, Shiv Sena is almost in a dilapidated condition. It won’t last much long. Uddhav should realise that he has failed to manage. There has been speculation about the understanding between the Sena’s arch-rival Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and the BJP after the meeting between Raj Thackeray and former BJP president Nitin Gadkari. Gadkari had requested him not to contest polls to avoid vote split between the anti-Congress votes. Shiv Sena had openly expressed it’s discontent about the meeting. Meeting between Gadkari and Raj Thackeray had pushed the BJP in a piquant situation over its relationship with Shiv Sena, considering the MNS is Sena’s rival in Maharashtra. The meeting with Raj Thackeray was not taken in good taste and has strained ties with Shiv Sena, which is an old partner of the party in Maharashtra. There is no question of a tie-up with any other partner in the state as BJP values its alliance with Shiv Sena. Maharashtra BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis met Uddhav Thackeray who said that he conveyed to him that the BJP considers the Sena a natural and trusted ally.
Another key point is that Maharashtra Assembly elections are also due in 2014. The reality is that Raj Thackeray’s influence does not go beyond Mumbai-Nashik-Pune belt and this too is waning. Furthermore, Raj Thackeray’s MNS played the role of the sport spoilers in the last general as well as assembly elections for NDA in 2009. This has not changed. He will continue to spoil electoral prospects of Sena-BJP combine. So, really nothing has changed, except that Raj has expressed lip-loyalty to Narendra Modi. Desperately, Raj Thackeray wanted to grab political holding in Maharashtra. Gadkari provided him an opportunity to enjoy political limelight, either unwittingly or due to his own rivalry within the BJP, with Munde faction. It will be in the best interest of the Shiv Sena-BJP combine to ignore Raj Thackeray and endeavour to win maximum seats in Maharashtra on their own.
BJP and its leaders use such wiles in election for self-gain; this time they tried to stop MNS from fighting the election. Raj Thackeray is smarter than these leaders, he cannot be trapped by anybody. He declared his party’s support to Modi but is also contesting the election. Political parties are formed to fight the election; nobody can force any party to stay away from the election. It’s right of every political party to fight the election. BJP might have even tried dragging Raj Thackeray into the NDA, but it did not happen as Raj Thackeray has dismissed the invitation of alliance with the BJP party.
Meeting between Ex BJP President Nitin Gadkari and Raj Thackeray is example of fissures in the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance. Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray, who is not in talking terms with cousin Raj will certainly raise objection over BJP’s attempt to woo Raj Thackeray. BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, may also not like this ‘secret’ meeting because Raj has taunted him on several occasions. This is also an indication that all is not well in BJP.