Time doesn’t remain the same. Once there was a time when the directions or orders from Matoshree were taken as the final decree and nobody would dare question that. At times it commanded so much power that late Bala Saheb Thackeray could shake the entire political landscape. All the Shiv Sainiks had unquestionable loyalty towards him and would do anything at his command without second-guessing the move. But it seems the ‘Reluctant’ son of great Bala Saheb has collapsed the entire aura around Matoshree.
First vertical split in Shiv Sena
The recent political fiasco in Maharashtra can snowball into a major overhaul in the political canvas of the state. Shiv Sena, the party whose ideology and command at one point of time was decided only from the four walls of Matoshree, could suffer its first-ever vertical split. The rebellion from hardcore Shiv Sainiks, trained under the guidance of Hindu Hridya Samrat late Bala Saheb Thackeray has power to resurrect the lost Hindutva ideology of the party and change the power centre of Shiv Sena.
Only a few MLAs of Shiv Sena who still want to hang on to the power, compromising with the Hindutva ideology, are left at the side of CM Uddhav Thackeray. Barring these power-driven MLAs the entire core of the hardcore Shiv Sainiks have camped in Guwahati and the number is only growing as we speak. All these legislators have only one demand from CM Uddhav Thackeray. A demand to course correct the failing ways of the party and break away with the unholy MVA alliance.
१. गेल्या अडीच वर्षात म.वि.आ. सरकारचा फायदा फक्त घटक पक्षांना झाला,आणि शिवसैनिक भरडला गेला.
२. घटक पक्ष मजबूत होत असताना शिवसैनिकांचे – शिवसेनेचे मात्र पद्धतशीर खच्चीकरण होत आहे. #HindutvaForever
— Eknath Shinde – एकनाथ शिंदे (@mieknathshinde) June 22, 2022
This rebellion has taken the debate much further than saving the MVA government. Now the existence of Shiv Sena and leadership of Uddhav Thackeray is at stake. This proves that he no longer enjoys the invincibility once attached with the Thackerays. No matter where the fiasco leads to, once which was considered to be red lines have now been crossed and party supremo’s every decision or statement will face critical scrutiny from the party leaders ending the sovereign command of Thackerays. This has basically shut the door of Nepotism in the party and only the meritocracy of political-dynast Aditya will decide his political future unlike his father who got everything on the silver platter from late Bala Saheb.
Have defections never happened in Shiv Sena?
Differences of opinions, leadership skills and ambitions have many times led to defections in many parties. So defection is not a new thing in political circles. It has also taken place in Shiv Sena. The most notable being the rebellion of Bala Saheb’s loyalist Chhagan Bhujbal.
In December 1991, the tall OBC leader Bhujbal claimed support of 17 out of 52 legislators to form a new political outfit Shiv Sena (B). The appointment of Manohar Joshi, as the Opposition leader in MH assembly became the cause of rift between the guru-shishya duo. Ironically, Bhujbal is notorious for being the man who got Bala Saheb arrested for a brief period in connection to parties mouthpiece Saamana’s coverage of the 1992-1993 riots.
In 2005 the party had to suffer two massive jolts. The political circles echoed Raj Thackeray as the political successor of uncle Bala Saheb which became the bone of contention and the reason for his exit from the party. Quitting the party he blamed “lack of democracy within the Sena”. He said, “all I asked was respect from Matoshree but got only insults and humiliation”.
Later in the same year, Narayan Rane who once sworn as the State Chief Minister on Shiv Sena ticket, rebelled against the increasing stature of dynast Uddhav Thackeray.
But all these rebellions were successfully quenched as a tall, decisive and ideologically committed Bala Saheb Thackeray was controlling the party with absolute control. All of this is currently missing in the Shiv Sena as it has compromised on its ideology for the political posts.
Is it merely softening the stand on Hindutva or Compromise for lust for Power?
Before the assembly elections in Maharashtra in late 2019, political circles could never have imagined such a hardline breakup between the Hindutva alliance between ‘Far Right’ Shiv Sena and ‘Nationalist’ BJP. The voters gave a massive victory to the Hindutva alliance unaware of the fact that a political coup laid ahead. For the lust of power Shiv Sena danced to the tune of Political craftsman Sharad Pawar and formed an unthinkable ideological-stark coalition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
Many political analysts claim this to be the beginning of the collapse of the power-centre in Matoshree and its ideological suicide. This should be a learning curb for all the political parties that compromise with their core ideology. As without ideology the mere existence of the party will cease to exist in the long run. So if the rebel leaders achieve success it will prove a shot in the arm for the dilapidated Shiv Sena and bring back to its Hindutva roots.
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