NEW DELHI: Life came a full circle for Uddhav Thackeray and Shiv Sena in just one night as the leader, who was touted to be the chief minister of Maharashtra on Friday night, was left with nothing after the dramatic developments early Saturday.
Uddhav, who had shed the pro-Hindutva image of his party and also bickered with long-time ally BJP for the chief minister’s chair to eventually forge an alliance with the Congress and the NCP, is now left with nothing to show for his efforts.
A Shiv Sena insider said that despite ditching the long-term ally and forging new friendships, party workers were happy as their leader was becoming the chief minister. “We were disappointed that we had to sever ties with the BJP, but Uddhavji becoming the chief minister was the dream of every Shiv Sainik,” the party functionary said.
However, with Devendra Fadnavis being sworn-in with Ajit Pawar as his deputy, the moral of the Shiv Sainiks has taken a beating. “We do not know what to do now. We are now forced to question if our leadership made the right decision,” he said.
Political experts, too, feel that the Bal Thackeray-founded party has lost a lot of its political acumen with the developments.
“Though it is too early to write off the Shiv Sena, their image has definitely taken a beating. After all the negotiations and convincing, the party has nothing to show. Also, by ditching the Hindutva ideology, the party has forced its core voters to look elsewhere,” political analyst Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay said.
Another Mumbai-based political commentator said it is now a challenge for the Shiv Sena to keep its flock together.
“With the day’s development, the Shiv Sena legislators may be getting restless and some of them would be eager to jump ship to be on the right side of the power tussle,” she said.