MUMBAI: While political analysts are blaming the ongoing political drama in Maharashtra on the Shiv Sena’s greed for power, some senior party workers feel that Uddhav Thackeray’s personal ambition is to blame.
As Shiv Sena scion Aditya Thackeray reached Raj Bhavan along with legislative party leader Eknath Shinde and other senior leaders on Monday evening to express the party’s intent to form the government, party workers gathered at Uddhav's Bandra residence Matoshree in huge numbers. They distributed “Puran Poli” – the traditional sweet flatbread of Maharashtra - relished while celebrating festivals or on auspicious occasions, anticipating that Uddhav will soon get a call to be sworn in as Chief Minister.
The dream was shattered when the letters of support from the Congress and the NCP didn’t reach Raj Bhavan. However, the party workers made it amply clear that Uddhav was their dream Chief Minister of the state. These were the same party workers who had put up posters outside Matoshree depicting Uddhav as the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
“Balasaheb never wanted anything for himself and hence things used to fall in place automatically those days. Now it is personal ambition and hence we are seeing this political drama,” said a senior party functionary who didn’t want to be named.
“We misjudged the situation completely. Today we misjudged the intentions of the Congress and the NCP. Last week, we did the same with the BJP,” the party leader said, reflecting on the current developments.
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In 2014 when the alliance with the BJP broke ahead of the assembly polls, Uddhav was very upset. He said several times that the BJP snatched away Shiv Sena’s “golden chance”. He tried to ensure that the party gets the chance as he brokered the alliance pact ahead of the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year.
Publicly he kept saying that he wants to see a Shiv Sena leader in the CM’s seat. In the past, such things were said but given up in the course of negotiations. That didn’t happen this time. The extreme brinkmanship has no other explanation than Uddhav’s personal ambition, said the leader.
The Shiv Sena has not occupied the Chief Minister's post since 1999. Against this backdrop, the party overestimated the value of its numbers in the assembly and might have overplayed its hand. Political analyst Abhay Deshpande said this was bound to fail.
The real issue is that the BJP didn’t leave them any dignified escape route like it used to in previous negotiations, he added.