Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray vamoosed from the 25-year old National Democratic Alliance (NDA) soon after BJP’s breach of faith of the power-sharing agreement, where Thackeray was promised two and a half years of CM post. While Thackeray was with Devendra Fadanvis-led government, both were known for their personal grudge against each other. However, their ideology cuts from the same saffron cloth, which made them concomitant allies. Even political analysts and Maharashtrians bandied that how it was hard to follow the direction Thackeray was heading towards.
Was it a bold, politically-vested move or the right time to win back the dignity? It was both.
After exiting the long-held condoned NDA, Thackeray made a decision that brought about a seismic shift in Maharashtra Politics. He stroke a deal with two radically opposing parties.
Despite knowing the impended opening fire of criticism, Thackeray held the hands of two politically incompatible parties. BJP’s repeated attacks to make the alliance clumsy has made no difference so far. Rather, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) is swaggering the way. This month marks an unanticipated year of togetherness of three heterogeneous parties.
Thackeray refuted the trepidation surrounding his long-term survival as a Chief Minister of Maharashtra by successfully completing one year of CMship. Taking into account his electoral figures and the submissive demeanour he is known for, it was hard to imagine him as a Chief Minister.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi — Shiv Sena, Congress, and NCP — are the parties of antithetical ideologies. BJP, with much embarrassment of their unexpected loss, claimed that MVA would collapse under the weight of their historical discord.
More than a claim, it was an attempt to debilitate the already established power. Under the aegis of NCP boss man Sharad Pawar, the alliance is bound to remain intact and unblemished.
After a month of coming to power, Thackeray said that looking back, he feels his party made a mistake to mix religion with politics. This statement tells that Thackeray is in the mood for a complete makeover. Going ahead, he double-checked his changed views by saying that his idea of ‘Hindutva’ is different than that of BJP.
The Thackeray gharana’s history is closely tied with Maharashtra’s formation. Prabhodankar Thackeray, one of the prominent leaders of Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti, significantly contributed towards the formation of the linguistic state of Maharashtra in a much milder way. His views influenced Balasaheb Thackeray, the father of Uddhav Thackeray, to form Shiv Sena. Balasaheb was notorious for his extreme views about Hindutva.
Balasaheb’s speeches were popular for several reasons. Much like Narendra Modi, he was a crowd-pleaser. His schmoozing skills made him Hinduhridaysamrat. Balasaheb’s nephew Raj Thackeray, who people assumed is a great fit to take up the legacy of Thackeray gharana, parted his way to form a new party. Amidst all this, Uddhav Thackeray’s dormant state was mistaken as his ineptitude. Because in India, political event-giri is more important than political performance. Entertainment outweighs excellency.
Though it would be too early to sing the praises and flatter Uddhav Thackeray, his makeover from hard-core Hindutvavadi to a much level-headed politician deserves acknowledgement. His cunning shift from an extreme right-wing cohort into a much neutral ground without going too far to the left-liberal side says a lot about his political flair. From being looked upon as a reluctant politician to becoming a strong-decision-maker, Uddhav Thackeray has inadvertently mastered the art of political games. He might not roar like his father, but he surely knows how to raise the claw.