The power struggle in the state is still going on. After the exit of the rebellion of Eknath Shinde, a powerful leader in Shiv Sena, the internal strife in Shiv Sena came to the fore and there was a tremor in the politics of the state. This rebellion is not sudden. This has been well planned and has taken probably many days if not months. First, massive cross-voting happened for Rajya Sabha on 10th June and again on MLC elections that happened on 20th instant. Immediately after the MLC elections, the rebels numbering 21 along with Eknath Shinde went in disguise. Later more and more MLAs started joining the group and we all know what happened thereafter.
Maha Vikas Aghadi’s government was dismantled, and Uddhav had to resign. Meanwhile, Devendra Fadnavis became the umpire of the game played between Shiv Sena vs Shiv Sena. Gradually he took complete control over Eknath Shinde and his rebel group. Shinde was made Chief Minister of Maharashtra because the numbers he carried with him were very crucial for BJP to stay in power.
On the other hand, Uddhav cannot accept Eknath Shinde as the leader of Shiv Sena, because his greatest ambition is to make Aditya Thackeray his successor will not fructify. There is a possibility of the party slipping under the Thackeray family. Politically Thackeray’s might be broken down. But still, there is a huge movement in Sena, Aditya is addressing several rallies, his father Uddhav regularly talking to the media and also visiting Shakhas and reviving them. He would have done all this before the damage was done to sena. The family-based parties pass the control of the party from one generation to another generation. In politics, such kingdoms are demolished overnight. There are several examples.
Uddhav has been sulking these days, recently there was one very theatrical interview in which Saamana executive editor and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut questioned Uddhav Thackeray. After the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, several attempts were made to convey to people that Shinde is a backstabber and NCP chief Sharad Pawar did not ditch him but his own party legislators deceived Shiv Sena. In that Interview, Thackeray lashed out at CM Eknath Shinde-DCM Devendra Fadnavis’s government. Uddhav Thackeray accused Eknath Shinde of trying to bring him down even when he was unwell in hospital and could barely move, in an interview with his party mouthpiece Saamana, Uddhav made some sensational statements but they were not very convincing.
Uddhav objected to the use of his father’s photo for votes by rebels. He said everyone should use their own parents’ photos for votes. His statement reads “Unfortunately my parents are not alive, but they (rebels) should take the blessings of their own parents and campaign, give speeches and seek votes. Why steals my father? You have no dedication, no sense of duty, no courage – are you not man enough? You are a traitor”. He said in the entire crisis, he blamed himself the most for trusting some Shiv Sena workers and leaders.
It’s high time that Uddhav should stop grumbling and understand the fact that the Parties are a product of people’s moment; the leader’s children treat it as personal property. Political parties cannot be inherited from their ancestors. All the dynasts are facing the issues of survival be it Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mulayam Singh, Paswan’ or Gandhi family and now Thackeray. Balasaheb is a father figure for many. He was a self-made public figure. It’s the people’s love for him that gave acceptance to his children in public life.
This is the time that Uddhav should move out gracefully from politics and be like his father working for the people of Maharashtra and Marathi manoos. Bala Saheb Thackeray was a towering personality and a principled politician. He commanded utmost respect. His legacy should have been continued by his progeny. This kind of talk of nepotism leaves a bad taste with the public. Why degrade the roots of others? Shiv Sena survived by its people, it’s the Sainiks who took to the roads or who contributed to the existence of the party, no one can discredit them. I have never seen Thackeray standing on the road and protesting or shouting slogans. It’s the Sainiks who shed blood for the party. But an angry Uddhav compared these rebel Shiv Sainiks to “rotten leaves” of a tree that had to be shed to make way for new leaves.
The Sena chief said the rebels resented that he had been able to keep the Shiv Sena thriving even after Bal Thackeray’s death. He alleged that the rebels want to separate Shiv Sena from the Thackerays, comparing it to “separating the Congress from the Gandhis. Uddhav said the BJP was trying to appropriate great leaders of other parties. The way they tried to appropriate Sardar Patel from Congress; they are doing the same thing with his father. On the Eknath Shinde Sena claiming the legacy of Bal Thackeray, Uddhav now threw a challenge, on the other side Eknath took the challenge sportingly.
Now finally Thackeray has requested the Supreme Court to stop the Election Commission from deciding on who has control of the party until a decision is taken on the disqualification of the rebels. Team Shinde, after forming a government with the BJP’s support, claims it is the “real Shiv Sena”. The Election Commission has told both the Sena factions to produce documentary evidence by August 8 to prove who represents the Maharashtra party.