Issues In Ghulam Nabi Azad’s Letter Have Parallels In The Shiv Sena

Issues In Ghulam Nabi Azad’s Letter Have Parallels In The Shiv Sena

Journalists covering the Shiv Sena for over two decades might have felt a sense of deja vu after reading Ghulam Nabi Azad’s letter for the Congress. Azad’s letter reflects several similarities between the Congress and its coalition partner in Maharashtra. Both the Shiv Sena and the Congress are family-run parties, the former by Thackerays and the latter by Gandhis. The discord in both parties began when the reins of the parties shifted from one generation to another. In the Shiv Sena’s case, it was from Bal Thackeray to Uddhav and in the Congress, Rahul got the power from Sonia Gandhi.  In his letter, Azad alleged that Rahul first remote-controlled the UPA governments and then the same pattern was followed in the party as well. Uddhav’s style of functioning is identical. In 2014 when the BJP-Shiv Sena government came to the power, Uddhav remote-controlled the government (at least the Shiv Sena ministers in Devendra Fadnavis-led government). His father too had famously announced in 1995, after the Shiv Sena-BJP combine won elections, that the remote control of the government would remain in his hand. Azad complained that after Rahul took charge of the affairs, veterans in the party were sidelined and the consultative mechanism in the Congress party was demolished. Uddhav had to face the same allegations when he became executive president of the Shiv Sena in 2003. Many senior leaders like Narayan Rane, Raj Thackeray, and Mohan Rawle alleged that a coterie of few people influenced Uddhav’s decision-making, and they were sidelined. The seniors were not consulted while distributing election tickets and formulating election strategies.  Azad alleged that major decisions in the Congress party were taken by Rahul Gandhi or his guards and PAs. In 2005, when Narayan Rane had quit the Shiv Sena, he made a similar allegation against Uddhav. Rane alleged that Uddhav’s private secretary Milind Narvekar influenced the party’s decision and the advice of senior leaders like him wasn’t heeded. Five times Shiv Sena MP Mohan Rawle was sacked from the Shiv Sena. He too was critical of Milind Narvekar and alleged that it took four years for him to get an audience with Uddhav Thackeray. Like the Congress, the Shiv Sena too has seen many defections and many of its stalwarts have either joined the rival camp or founded their own parties. The recent coup in the Shiv Sena by Eknath Shinde is considered the biggest one in the party’s history and it threatens to take away the reins of the party from the Thackeray family’s hand. [Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs, and views expressed by the various authors and forum participants on this website are personal and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs, and views of ABP News Network Pvt Ltd.]

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