MUMBAI: From a shy, introvert, temperate wildlife photographer to an astute political organizer and now the Chief Minister of Maharashtra – the rise of Uddhav Thackeray is more than impressive.Engrossed in his hobby of wildlife photography, Uddhav hardly took politics seriously till the mid-nineties. He was handling the responsibility of party mouthpiece, Saamna. Yet, he was aloof from politics. Moreover, due to his cousin Raj, who was the shadow of Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray back then, Uddhav remained away from the media’s eye for a long time.
Uddhav is not a great orator like his father. But, he speaks from the heart. Raj had oratory skills like his uncle and was a firebrand. Uddhav was sober. It was a complete mismatch for the Shiv Sena of those days. While the party had its government Raj had started controlling the party to a large extent. It was in the late nineties, when Raj lost some of his clout in the party organization due to Ramesh Kini case, that Uddhav got a chance to come forth.
After the party lost power, Uddhav was made the executive head of the party. He started organising regular meetings of leaders from different regions. Gradually, many aggressive leaders, who believed in muscle power politics, got replaced by moderates.
Before the polls, he started pitching for major share in seat-sharing and the alliance with BJP broke. Uddhav stood against the Modi wave and got 63 MLAs against all odds. Probably that was the moment when he made the promise to himself that he shall have a Sena CM in 2019. That promise has been fulfilled.