Uddhav Thackery is indeed a reluctant politician but things seem to be becoming clear for him as Maharashtra is soon to get a stable government after weeks of a political conundrum.
The Sena Chief is all set to become the next CM of Maharashtra.
He has always been a reluctant politician, his family traditionally held the keys to power and formed almost all the subsequent governments and administrations through proxies. He will become the first from his family to hold a constitutionally sanctioned post.
His party’s decision to pose him as its CM candidate, according to political analysts draws from the fact that the Sena has been rapidly losing to the BJP in the state and this might be a good way to assert its strong presence on the political scene.
What is also interesting to note is that Thackeray is going to be the CM of Maharashtra with the support of two of its traditional rival parties – the Nationalist Congress Party(NCP)led by Sharad Pawar and the Congress led by Sonia Gandhi.
Uddhav Thackeray is the youngest of the three children of Bal Thackeray and was a late entrant into the world of politics. His estranged cousin and MNS chief Raj Thackeray was originally seen as Bal Thackeray’s political heir.
Uddhav Thackery entered politics quite late in life as he was more interested in wildlife photography. His first entry into politics came in 1985 when the party came to power in the BMC.Thackeray was deeply involved in the campaign for the BMC elections but his formal entry into politics was in 1990 when he attended a party event in Mumbai.
This had happened just two years after his father had chosen Raj Thackeray as the youth wing chief of the party in 1988. The rivalry between the two leaders grew during mid-1990s.
Though Uddhav Thackeray may not own the sharp oratory skills and the popularity that his father’s cousin held, Thackeray too is a shrewd politician.
By meeting local party workers regularly he was successful in consolidating his position within the party and building his own group of loyalists.
He did take guidance from some party veterans and created his own popularity in the party.
When Bal Thackeray died in 2012, people began wondering if the mild tempered Uddhav Thackeray would be able to sustain the popularity of his father or keep the party alive.
Over the years, Uddhav Thackeray has built himself and worked immensely on himself.
He has indeed proved everyone wrong and has managed to deal with tough challenges including the ascent of the BJP in Maharashtra.
In 2014 when the country was experiencing a major Modi wave, the BJP suddenly broke its long association with the Sena ahead of the Maharashtra assembly polls. This was Uddhav Thackeray’s first major political blow.
Even at the height of the Modi wave, the Shiv Sena under the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray managed to win 63 seats, which in itself was an increase of 21seats as compared to the 2009 assembly polls.
Uddhav Thackeray felt at this point that keeping the party alive was more important than sticking to stringent ideological differences , so he joined hands with the BJP government even though his party felt that they had been offered a raw deal.
In 2019 too, just before the Lok Sabha elections, the Sena again joined hands with the BJP but asserted that this time around they had been offered a better prospect and the deal was more equitable.
After the elections, it was found that the BJP-Sena alliance had secured sufficient votes to form the government.
Uddhav Thackeray recommended that the CM’s post be taken on a rotational basis between them.
But the BJP vehemently opposed the proposal and Uddhav contacted his rivals. The Congress and the NCP were contacted so that a possibility of an alliance could be sought along with them. After a prolonged political drama, Uddhav Thackeray is now on the verge of becoming the next CM of Maharashtra. Although he may be sworn in soon as the next CM of the state, his challenges would continue as he would have the immense pressure of leading a cabinet full of political heavyweights from the Congress as well as the NCP.
Along with the challenges associated with leading a politically diverse alliance, Uddhav Thackeray must also work towards growing and strengthening his party for the times to come.