Thu, 30 Jun 2022 10:04 AM IST
The Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were two natural allies, considering their Hindutva ideology and like-minded policies, and only a few would have thought that a time would come when the two won't be a part of an allaince. However, this came true in 2019 after Uddhav Thackeray served all ties with the BJP following the assembly elections that year.
Thackeray alleged that the BJP didn't fulfil its promise. He later formed an unlikely alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the Maharashtra.
However, two and a half years later, Thackeray, also known as 'Digga', resigned from the position after a revolt by Eknath Shinde. "Whatever I do, whether I desire it or not.... I do it with determination," he had said during his Facebook Live on June 22.
Thackeray's determination was visible from his early political career, which began in the 1990s after he started helping his father. However, in comparision with his cousin Raj Thackeray, Uddhav was considered to be a soft-spoken person that led to a split in the Shiv Sena.
However, the split did not affect the party after it won the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and Thane Municipal Corporation elections in 2007, 2012 and 2017.
This split, experts predicted, might end in 2012 with Balasaheb Thackeray's death. However, Uddhav managed to hold the party together, and also led its transformation into a mature political outfit from its earlier avatar as a party of street fighters.
In 2014, the Sena and the BJP contested the assembly polls separately, but they formed a post-poll alliance. In 2019, they separated again over the post of Chief Minister and the Sena formed an alliance with the Congress and the NCP.
Thackeray became the Chief Minister, but he led Maharashtra during one of its worst phases after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, many Sena leaders started complaining about the party's alliance with the NCP and Congress, which eventually proved to be the alliance's undoing.
Now, it will be interesting to see how would Thackeray revive the party following a split after Shinde's revolt.