Saturday, October 4, 2014

Son-Rise or Smoke?

This Assembly election in Maharashtra will be the first after the death of Bal Thackeray and hence the first in which the Shiv Sena is fighting under Uddhav Thackeray's leadership. But, it seems, his son, Aditya Thackeray, is quickly becoming the real talk of the town. He led the party;s negotiations with the BJP, which ultimately collapsed, but now he has become the hope for the party.

So, is Maharashtra seeing the dawn of a new era? To be fair, this is not the first time this third generation Thackeray has made electoral decisions - rumor has it that he played a crucial role in the Shiv Sena backing Narendra Modi for Prime Minister earlier in the year (not unlike a similar role played by Chirag Paswas in Bihar). But that was quite another story - everyone wanted to latch on to the Modi wave that saw the NDA return to power, with the BJP winning a majority of its own and the Congress being wiped out in Maharashtra.

This election will be different because Uddhav and his son will have to prove their strength on their own. For now, Aditya seems to be in control of the party strategy, but whether he will be able to deliver or not will decide whether this is his true coming of age or if he could just be the next Rahul Gandhi. And for that, he must face the greatest adversary any political party in India has ever faced: Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

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