Mumbai: “I had made a pledge to my father Balasaheb that one day I would install a Shiv Sainik as the chief minister and I will fulfil that promise...” When Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had said this a few months back, no one took his statement seriously.
But as the grand alliance of three parties — Sena, NCP and Congress — elected Thackeray as their leader to head the government on Tuesday, the Sena leader will not only fulfil his pledge, but also teach a lesson to the BJP, which made the grave mistake of taking him lightly.
When the Assembly polls were announced and it became crystal clear that BJP would not form the state government with Sena’s help. Thackeray took the opportunity to remind the BJP of the promise reportedly made to him before the Lok Sabha polls: To share portfolios and responsibilities equally. However, the BJP denied making any such promises.
This supposed betrayal infuriated the normally mild-mannered Thackeray, who is known for love of photography, so much that he took the extreme step of breaking the 34-year-old alliance with its long-time partner .
“Uddhavsaheb may come across as a soft person, but he has a very strong mind and he doesn’t hesitate to express it,” said a senior Sena leader.
Indeed, the BJP made the mistake of taking the Sena chief lightly, thinking he would fall in line after the initial bravado. But what they faced was a determined leader, who was not willing to give an inch of what was decided earlier.
After he made up his mind to break ties with the BJP, Thackeray played his cards astutely and outsmarted the BJP with his political acumen.
Thackeray will become the first person from the Thackeray family to become the CM. The icing on the cake is that his son Aaditya, now an MLA, will be there by his side to assist him.
However, the soft-spoken Sena chief will have to be an astute administrator as he faces the challenge of running the three-party government....