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Uddhav Thackeray : The Accidental Chief Minister

Uddhav Thackeray swears in as Maharashtra Chief Minister

As the fate decree, Uddhav Thackeray took oath as Chief Minister of Maharashtra in Dadar’s Shivaji Park where his father Balashaeb Thackeray used to hold Dussehra rallies and now he does.

After being unanimously appointed the leader of the newly formed alliance ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ or the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress trio, Uddhav Thackeray has taken over the position of Chief Minister in Maharashtra. Uddhav will also be the first from Thackeray family to occupy the Chief Ministerial post. But now, the question is, will this alliance last long? How far will Uddhav Thackeray go as a Chief Minister? And how do you make an alliance work when the parties involved are ideologically different?

It is known that there’s massive ideological difference between the Uddhav Thackeray led Shiv Sena and the Sonia-Sharad led Congress-NCP. And what happens if one of them pulls out? Same as when you pull out one block from the middle in a Jenga game; it will collapse and leave Maharashtra in a state of jeopardy.

On the morning of 23rd November, we woke up to newspapers that headlined ‘Uddhav Thackeray to be the Chief Minister of Maharashtra’, whereas our televisions told an entire different story, it was BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis who was taking oath as the CM. Even the media wasn’t informed till the last minute of the oath taking ceremony.

We the people sure do love surprises but that move was uncalled for.

BJP, on the other hand, repeated its own version of kissa kursi ka just like during the Karnataka election. In Karnataka, Yeddiyurappa took oath as the Chief Minister and stepped down within 3 days because they didn’t have majority. And the same repeated in Maharashtra. President’s rule was revoked at 5:47 am on 23rd November, BJP-NCP staked claim to form government and within hours, Fadnavis took oath as the Chief Minister. However, Fadnavis stepped down within 78 hours as they were short in numbers.

Former CM Fadnavis and other BJP leaders constantly claimed that it was Maharashtra people’s mandate and it has been betrayed by the Shiv Sena. So one wonders why did they sit back and let the Sena join hands with an ideologically opposite party? Instead, they brought NCP on board and accepted Ajit Pawar’s offer, who himself was not sure of the numbers.

But you see, Ajit Pawar had a better game. After taking the oath as the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra he got clean chits in scams within 2 days on November 25, (Nine Maharashtra irrigation scam probes were closed where he was involved) resigned from the position of Deputy CM and got back with the NCP on November 26. You see?

The common man’s common wit knows that the mess wasn’t created to give people of Maharashtra a better government. It took NCP-Congress-Shiv Sena 32 days to reach to a consensus to form Government in the state. Why? Because the political parties were busy dumping their allies, cheating on their own party and drooling over the throne of Chief Minister.

The Shiv Sena dumped their 30-year-old ally because the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) refused their idea of 50:50 formula for Chief Minister’s post after the mandate came in favor of BJP-Sena alliance. They further joined hands with their 30 year old foes Congress-NCP duo – a kind of alliance unheard of.

Meanwhile, Nationalist Congress party President Sharad Pawar, marshaled his resources and sought support from the Shiv Sena to round up his parties’ member of the legislative assembly. And got more than needed!

Now let’s take a quick look at the person who will be leading Maharashtra from this day onward. How does it feel like when you don’t appear for an examination but still manage to be the topper of the class? Well yes, son of Balasaheb Thackeray, Uddhav Thackeray has never contested an election in his entire life. He has never been a member of the state assembly either.

Balasaheb believed in wielding power from the background and never assumed government position himself and so did his son. Uddhav also has a history of rifts within the party. In 2002, he led Shiv Sena to massive victory in Brihanmumbai Municial Corporation elections but always remained in the background and managed Sena’s mouthpiece ‘Saamana’. The very next year he was appointed the working president of Sena. This in turn caused a rift between him and his cousin Raj Thackeray, who was actively involved with Sena’s work and was thought of as Balasaheb’s successor.

Raj separated from Shiv Sena and formed his separate party – Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in 2006. Uddhav also had differences with Narayan Rane, who is popularly known as Konkan strongman and served as the CM of Maharashtra (seven and a half month tenure in year 1999). After fallout, Rane was expelled from the party.

By parting ways from the BJP, the Shiv Sena, indeed showed that betrayal comes at a great cost. As the month-long saga finally ended with Thackeray being sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, it remains to be seen whether this alliance will work out in the future, given the fact that the trio has ideological differences.

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