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With the resignation of Uddhav Thackeray, a major chapter in Shiv Sena’s politics came to an end. As much as the BJP’s politics of ‘manipulative’ can be held responsible for this, the same can be attributed to the politics of Shiv Sena itself, which led to such a situation. The party’s ‘bathroom politics’ is being said to be the most responsible in the fall of the Uddhav government, due to which the top leaders of the party also started feeling neglected and the matter reached till the fall of the government. Uddhav Thackeray failed to gauge the depth of the discontent brewing within the party and lost even his closest associates.
What was bathroom politics?
Actually, Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray was a big name in Maharashtra politics. His own personality was so high that whatever he said, people took it as law and followed it completely. Balasaheb Thackeray never used to visit anyone because of his political clout and temperament. Whoever had to meet him, he himself used to come to his residence ‘Matoshree’. People like BJP veteran LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi also had to take time to meet him. Those who know Shiv Sena closely believe that Uddhav Thackeray also adopted the same style of Balasaheb Thackeray. Those whom he did not want to meet, he made him wait for a long time. People were told that ‘sir, I am in the bathroom now’.
This political style of Uddhav Thackeray was not liked by many. Those warlords of Shiv Sena, who were deeply attached to the family considering their close relationship with Matoshree as their capital and were ready to do anything for it, went away from the party due to this thinking. The rebel MLAs of Shiv Sena have made the same allegations against Uddhav Thackeray. These MLAs say that three-four lakh people send them as their public representatives, but they do not have time to meet them. It was humiliating for him. In the Uddhav government, even key ministers were not allowed to meet the chief minister. This discontent slowly boiled over and eventually became the reason for the disintegration of Shiv Sena. There are allegations that some people close to Uddhav Thackeray and Matoshree were captured, due to which the Thackeray family went away from the people and the matter kept getting worse. This excuse got a formal basis after Uddhav Thackeray got sick, but it only added to the discontent.
Due to this distance from BJP also
Those who know Shiv Sena closely say that this political style of Shiv Sena continued successfully during the time of Balasaheb Thackeray, but as soon as new leaders emerged in the BJP, his distance from Shiv Sena started increasing. After LK Advani, BJP leader Nitin Gadkari had emerged as the link between the party and the Shiv Sena. Being from Nagpur, he developed a good relationship with the Shiv Sena family, but he also had to take the same time to meet Thackeray as other leaders had to take. Sometimes they also had to wait a long time. Angered by this behavior, Nitin Gadkari gradually moved away from Shiv Sena.
After Nitin Gadkari BJP used Pramod Mahajan to maintain its ties with Shiv Sena. Pramod Mahajan of simple and firm political nature did not mind this politics of Thackeray and continued to run the activities of the party successfully. But the BJP leaders after Pramod Mahajan were not ready to tolerate much of this flak from the Thackeray family. As a result, his distance from the party began to grow and came out in the form of a split in the last election.
Will Shiv Sena remain strong?
The largest base of Shiv Sena is in Mumbai. She is still the biggest contender for Marathi identity politics in Maharashtra. Soon there are elections to the municipal corporations, in which the Shiv Sena is no match. If Uddhav Thackeray is once again able to retain his hold in the Municipal Corporation, which is more likely, the political power of Shiv Sena and Uddhav Thackeray will remain strong. Aaditya Thackeray will also have to adopt a strategy to engage the new youth firmly with him. If they are successful in this, Shiv Sena will continue to get new energy and the Thackeray family’s hold on Shiv Sena will remain intact. But failing this, this Hindutva base may shift the vote bank to other parties like BJP.
Not giving importance to your people became the cause of trouble
BJP national spokesperson Prem Shukla told Amar Ujala that Uddhav Thackeray did not give time to even his ministers to meet. Even the phones of MLAs were not picked up. This created a sense of neglect among the public representatives, which became a reason for dissatisfaction among them. He said that during this time Eknath Shinde was not only always ready to listen to the voices of the MLAs, but he was also available to extend all possible help to them. This is the reason why this discontent in Shiv Sena escalated to this level.