Saffron Shiv Sena was turned into a supporter of the NCP-Congress in Maharashtra by Uddhav Thackeray’s desperation to be Chief Minister and to ensure that his son was nurtured as a prospective rival to dynamic Devendra Fadnavis, who had already proven his mettle as an administrator and visionary leader during his stint as chief minister from 2014–2019.
The Shiv Sena cadre had been raised since childhood on Balasaheb Thackeray's Hindutva, and it was widely accepted that the Shiv Sena had been a defender of Hindu interests during the deadly riots of 1992. The aggressive Shiv Sainik, who, in his two idols — Shivaji Maharaj and Bal Thackeray — saw the embodiments of nationalism and Hindu cultural values, was suddenly asked by Uddhav Thackeray to support the NCP-Congress, two parties which mainly focused on minority appeasement and transactional politics devoid of nationalistic appeals.
This caused great confusion in the minds of Shiv Sainiks, who suddenly felt that they had to sell their souls literally to ally with the NCP-Congress, whom they had been fighting against along with the BJP since 1989. At the grassroot, municipal and Zilla Parishad levels, Shiv Sainiks were pitted directly against NCP-Congress leaders, and suddenly Uddhav Thackeray asked them to oppose the BJP and become buddies with leaders of the secular alliance. This was never accepted by the Shiv Sena cadre, and they had huge resentment and frustration against the Maha Vikas Aghadi, which had trampled on the legacy of Bal Thackeray.
The situation became worse as a coterie around Uddhav Thackeray began making all decisions along with NCP-Congress leaders and Shiv Sainiks were left out of the decision-making process. Funding became a whole issue as NCP leaders ensured maximum funding for their constituencies and Shiv Sena MLAs were left high and dry. Shiv Sena leaders also never helped Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, despite repeated pleas. Sanjay Raut, on the behest of Uddhav and Aditya Thackeray, kept on making tall remarks on every issue, but the basic issue was that Shiv Saniks could not get their work done.
Uddhav Thackeray developed hubris—excessive pride or overconfidence that leads to the fall of a leader in power—and didn’t care if Shiv Sena MLAs were complaining. He didn’t bother that Shiv Sena cadres were demanding an end to the unnatural alliance with the NCP-Congress. CM Thackeray did not pay heed to repeated requests by Shiv Sena MLAs that the Sena must ally with the BJP. Uddhav Thackeray felt that no one could challenge him as he was the party boss as well as the Chief Minister of the state, and hence he was free to take decisions ignoring the wishes of lakhs of Shiv Sainiks who had toiled hard day and night to keep the saffron Sena flag flying.
Time teaches a lesson to the mightiest, and Uddhav Thackeray is no exception. Finally, Shiv Sena leaders realised all their pleas were falling on deaf ears and Uddhav Thackeray had completely dumped Hindutva ideology for the secular ideology of Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi. The Shiv Sena MLAs decided that they would themselves walk on the Hindutva path of Bal Thackeray even if their leader, Uddhav Thackeray, would not.
Hence, we now see that Eknath Shinde is firm in his conviction that the Shiv Sena must ally with the BJP, return to Hindutva ideology, and break all ties with the NCP-Congress. The fact that the vast majority of Shiv Sena MLAs, 40 out of a total of 55, are currently with Shinde in Guwahati proves the wide resentment against Uddhav Thackeray, who ditched Hindutva ideology and broke the alliance with the BJP for the sake of power. Despite being CM, Thackeray could not inspire confidence or keep his MLAs together. This proves he is an incapable leader and a poor administrator.
The Shiv Sena is set to become considerably weaker and Thackeray must accept the blame and resign from the CM post.