Uddhav Thackeray's constant flip-flops would have even left his late father embarrassed
Whether he wanted to boycott or befriend Fadnavis is Uddhav Thackeray personal choice but his flip-flops have definitely eroded the legacy of Bal Thackeray, his late father and founder of the Sena. From trying to force his terms on an in-form BJP, Uddhav Thackeray is now playing second-fiddle to the BJP in ways that would have left his father distraught. Shouldn't the Sena chief have taken into account his father's stature in the state's politics before making his next move?
One doesn't feel surprised to see a leader of the Shiv Sena saying on the social media that the party cadre want their top leaders to show some self-respect. But how much receptive has Uddhav Thackeray been towards the sentiment of his own party members?
Is it all over for the Thackeray brand of aggressive politics in Maharashtra?
Thackeray's challenge was a high one in this assembly election. He was up against an opponent which is in a prime form and couldn't be defeated through conventional thinking. But Uddhav Thackeray's political ability was just limited to that. Like Nitish Kumar, he also tried to force a blackmailing strategy to deal with 'Modified BJP' thinking it would be an easy walk for him in Maharashtra. But just like Nitish Kumar, he too failed to gauge the reality of Indian politics at the moment.
Shiv Sena leadership failed to understand that BJP had come of age in Maharashtra
Uddhav Thackeray's biggest error in this election in Maharashtra was that he could not fathom the fact that the BJP was something more than a junior partner in the state as it was in 1995-99. The party has made a successful attempt in expanding its base from the urban pockets and grab its share in the vote-banks of parties like the Congress and the NCP.
Uddhav Thackeray would have played the game better had he conceded to the fact that the BJP came off age in Maharashtra. But he was perhaps too much obsessed with the past glory, just like Rahul Gandhi of the Congress and had to pay the price with his honour despite increasing its tally of seats.
Uddhav made a mockery of himself and his party
Uddhav Thackeray made a mockery of himself and his party and undid in the process his father's iron-strong image after the results came out. He bowed before the BJP after feeling threatened by the NCP's tilting towards the saffron party even while trying to downplay the saffron party's success. He decided not to join the swearing-in ceremony of the BJP-led government first but later joined it, giving the media a big space for imagination. Now, he wants a respectable deal from the BJP to remain relevant in the state politics.
The Sena looks an unhappy lot despite being part of a successful alliance
It is unfortunate that the Shiv Sena, which sent 18 members to the parliament this year - its best ever - found its leadership discredited within a span of a few weeks on its home turf in Maharashtra. The Shiv Sena mouthpiece's sharp attack on PM Modi and Gujaratis in general on the eve of the assembly elections makes its leadership all the more hollow at this moment.
Theckerays' days over in Maharashtra?
Uddhav Thackeray looks a confused politician. It seems he has inherited a political currency of 'Pride of Maharashtra' but doesn't know how to use it. There is a clear lack of clarity on his part on how to make the next move, irrespective of the senior leaders' advice. His estranged cousin Raj Thackeray, too, suffers from this drawback and it was proved in this election in which his MNS finished even behind the MIM, the Hyderabad-based party which made its debut this time.
The rise of Devendra Fadnavis as the chief minister of Maharashtra isn't just a record. It actually speaks about how the politics of the state has undergone a transition and might not again return to the days of aggressive sub-nationalism which was symbolised by the Thackerays.