Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia
Cameraperson: Gautam Sharma
Uddhav Thackeray's resignation from the post of the chief minister of Maharashtra on Wednesday, 29 June, steered the week-long political drama in the state towards the climax.
The crisis started when cabinet minister and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde along with at least 40 other MLAs camped first in Surat and then in Guwahati, demanding the Shiv Sena to exit ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance and join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
On Wednesday, after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari ordered the Uddhav Thackeray government to prove its majority in Assembly, the Shiv Sena approached the Supreme Court regarding the disqualification of 16 rebel MLAs.
The SC, however, upheld the governor's order and paved the way for the floor test, leading to Thackeray's resignation.
In light of these developments, The Quint looks at the key reasons behind the crisis in the Sena which led to the fall of Uddhav Thackeray.
Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress: The Unlikely Trio
The Shiv Sena contested the 2019 Assembly elections in an alliance with the BJP. Together, the two parties won 161 seats, a comfortable majority in a 288 seat assembly. The Shiv Sena, however, walked out of the alliance saying that the BJP went back on its promise of rotating the chief ministerial post after two and a half years.
This was followed by a one month long political drama which culminated in the Sena forming a government with Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and its arch nemesis – the Indian National Congress (INC).
Political observers then claimed that this 'unlikely' alliance won't last for more than a few months. All through the two-and-a-half-year-long stint of the MVA government, fissures were regularly reported within the alliance.
It would have been much easier for Thackeray and the Shiv Sena to stay in an alliance with the BJP – its natural and long-term ideological ally.
Uddhav Thackeray – The 'Good Guy' in Politics
Uddhav Thackeray indeed is the good guy in politics – he is calm, handles crisis effectively, does not go overboard to take credit, and is humble towards his alliance partners. These traits, however, are bureaucratic.
As a politician, especially one coming from the Thackeray family, he was expected to be flamboyant, accessible to friends and enemies alike, and put up a larger-than-life show.
Eknath Shinde managing to steal almost 40 MLAs from right from under Uddhav Thackeray's nose is no small feat and the Sena chief must do some thinking.
ED Ka Chakkar, Babu Bhaiya!
It’s no secret that several disgruntled MLAs, including the rebel-in-chief, Eknath Shinde, have been on the radar of investigative agencies for quite a while.
Sources repeatedly told The Quint that it was to stop this cat-and-mouse chase with the agencies which led to most of the rebels supporting Shinde’s demand to ditch the MVA alliance and patch up with the BJP.
The Hindutva Legacy Battle
One of the more surprising elements of Uddhav Thackeray’s tenure as a chief minister was his rather secular stand on most issues.
He regularly took on the BJP for its communal language, be it taking a stand against Nupur Sharma’s recent remarks against the Prophet or handling of the Hanuman Chalisa row.
Uddhav’s secular remarks, however, seem to have hit the nerve of his own MLAs who claim that he abandoned Shiv Sena’s and Balasaheb’s brand of Hindutva politics for power.