After about a month-long impasse over the formation of government in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena, Congress, and NCP Friday came to a consensus on making Uddhav Thackeray the next chief minister of the state. The three parties — Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena — will hold a press conference on Saturday and decide when to approach the governor, said NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, the youngest Sena founder Bal Thackeray’s three sons, was born in 1960 and was not the strongest contender to inherit his father’s post as the party chief from the very beginning. In fact, it was his cousin-brother Raj Thackeray who was believed to be the rightful heir to his uncle for his strong oratory skills.
Uddhav ventured into politics in the year 2002 campaigning for Sena in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation election. Sena won the elections and Uddhav was soon appointed as the working president of the party in 2003.
In 2006, following a fallout with Bal Thackeray and Uddhav, Raj Thackeray resigned from the party and formed his own organisation, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), leaving Uddhav to be seen as the only heir to his father. Uddhav took over the reins of Shiv Sena as its president after his father’s death in 2012.
Although leading a Hindu nationalist party, Uddhav has always been critical of Narendra Modi government at the Centre, only to shift from his standpoint during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections where his party had stitched a poll deal with the BJP to reinstate Modi as the prime minister.
In 2014, the BJP and Sena had contested Maharashtra Assembly elections separately due to a disagreement over the number of seats they would contest on. However, the government was formed after a post-poll alliance with the BJP winning 122 seats and Sena 63. The situation reversed this time with the two parties joining hands to fight the polls together yet splitting up when after winning the polls, the BJP denied sharing the chief ministerial post. The BJP had secured a majority by winning 105 while Sena got 56 seats in the 288-member Assembly.
Although President’s rule was imposed in Maharashtra on November 12 following a stalemate over government formation, Thackeray continued his talks with the Congress and NCP, the other two prominent parties in the state, trying to strike a deal on the condition of having a Shiv Sena leader as the chief minister. The parties finally came to a consensus to form the government in the state with Uddhav as the chief minister, and two deputy CMs — one each from Congress and NCP.