Maha Vikas Aghadi comprising of Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress, the three parties formed an alliance post-Assembly election in 2019 to keep the BJP out of power. The Shiv Sena, which had contested the Assembly election jointly with the BJP, decided to end the association after the BJP refused to accept the demand for CM’s chair. Uddhav was very much reluctant to have a CM from the Shiv Sena in the state, but Devendra’s ambition to continue as CM of Maharashtra made them part their ways.
Thackeray’s family lived with a golden rule that they would never stand for an election, nor occupy a political post. Balasaheb always remained as the ‘remote control’ – a behind the scenes marionette master whose very word was law. He was the kingmaker and big brother in equations with BJP.
By the 2019 scenario changed and Balasaheb’s grandson contested and won the seat. There were rumors that Aaditya Thackeray could be the Deputy CM in the Sena and BJP alliance, but Uddhav never wanted to settle on this deal. NCP veteran Sharad Pawar stepped in and Shiv Sena/NCP/Congress coalition government was formed in Maharashtra. This was rather a big shocker for BJP because Sena going in alliance with Congress was never thought off by anyone.
Sharad Pawar’s experimental tapping of political openings, Shiv Sena’s ‘pride and dare’ and the ability of senior Congress leaders to convince party chief Sonia Gandhi to follow Indira Gandhi’s exceptional course of turning necessity into opportunity were factors that facilitated the coming together of the three parties against BJP which had made unconcealed attempts to finish off all the three parties.
Somehow Uddhav as Chief Minister was giving his best performance. Differences within the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) were out in the open when its alliance partner said that it wants to form a government in Maharashtra on its own. Senior Congress leader Nana Patole came out saying that his party is working to establish the next government in the state on its own.
Uddhav Thackeray never desired to be at CM post. It was over a power-sharing understanding – Devendra Fadnavis and Uddhav Thackeray would be chief minister for two and a half years – which the partners of 25 years, Shiv Sena and BJP fell out and Pawar by announcing Uddhav as CM took a plunge. BJP was under the illusion that the Sena had nowhere to go and would, in the end, bulge it and stay back.
Meanwhile, Fadnavis was making every effort to come back in power. There are constant attacks on MVA by BJP leaders. They tried their level best to topple the state government. But Sharad Pawar made it difficult for them by taking all the control in hand. Since then the wounded Devendra keeping his fingers crossed to bring down MVA.
There were one after other controversies and all were pertaining to law and order situations. Be it Palghar mob lynching, COVID-19 lapses, the Sushant Singh’s death and now direct allegations by former Police Commissioner of Mumbai. Congress’s Anil Deshmukh always remained in controversy, this time Uddhav was keen that Anil Deshmukh resigns from the post and he communicated this to NCP chief Sharad Pawar. However, Congress has preferred to keep mum on the developments.
The humiliated Congress leaders were running towards NCP. BJP tried breaking Shiv Sena leaders to join their party but nothing worked in their favor.
Ever since, the opposition has left no stone unturned, backbiting over the ways in which the sitting government has led the state, attacking it at every opportunity available. The MVA too has thoroughly undone several assessments that were crucial for the past BJP government, more particularly for Fadnavis. By doing so, the conflict between the BJP and Sena worsened.
BJP always called MVA a “three-wheeler” coalition government assuming that it is seemingly operating on a weekly ventilator; it’s almost more than a year after Thackeray has been leading an uncomfortable coalition government in Maharashtra, but he sustained. There is another factor, till the time Sharad Pawar has his hand on Thackeray’s head nothing can stop Shiv Sena from holding on to power.