Eyeing the 'Hindutva' legacy of Hinduhriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray, the tussle between the Thackeray brothers - Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has heated. Taking a swift turn towards Hindutva, Raj Thackeray has announced that the MNS will announce its new ideology in a mega rally on January 23 - the 94th birth anniversary of Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray- eyeing to fill the vacant 'Hindutva' place in Sena's legacy. Countering this move, Uddhav Thackeray announced on Wednesday, that he will visit Ayodhya after completing 100 days as Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
The Shiv Sena which has agreed to a 'secular' joint Common Minimum Programme with its Maharashtra allies Congress-NCP is often in a fix in matters related to Hindutva. The CMP's preamble declares that the alliance will take a joint view on matters which have consequences on the 'secular fabric of the nation', which has led to the Sena feuding with Congress' disdain for the father of Hindutva - Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. While Sena has constantly demanded a Bharat Ratna for the revolutionary leader, Congress has openly accused of being linked to the Gandhi assassination.
Locked in a 'secular' compromise, the Sena has also had to justify its initial support to the BJP's amended Citizenship Act (CAA) and then refraining to support the bill in the Rajya Sabha. Apart from these ideological compromises, Sena has had to don a secular garb as CM Uddhav Thackeray met with over 200 Muslim community leaders to assure their right to protest against CAA, softening Sena's rigid Hindutva stance. With the weakening stance of Hindutva in Maharashtra, BJP remains the only right-wing, staunchly Hindutva party in the nation.
In a bid to replace its ally-turned-foe Shiv Sena, BJP is eyeing to rope in Raj Thackeray to rebrand the Sena's Hindutva flavour with Raj Thackeray's fiery brand. While Raj met with Former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, fuelling rumours of an alliance, Thackeray has also launched posters painted in saffron with lines that read 'Thought about the ideology of Maharashtra, resolve to create a Hindavi Swaraj’. Shifting gears from opposing the BJP till the Lok Sabha elections, to harness Maratha pride and Hindutva, Raj Thackeray is presumably treading the same path his uncle Balasaheb trod- eyeing to truly live his legacy.
The two had brothers had a fallout after Uddhav was chosen as the Sena Chief to succeed after Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray. Raj split from the family's political party to form the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in 2005. Recently, there have been reports of reconciliation between the two brothers on a personal level when in January 2019, Uddhav Thackeray along with his wife Rashmi Thackeray and two sons- Aaditya and Tejas had attended the wedding of Raj Thackeray's son - Amit. Moreover, Uddhav supported his cousin when he was probed by the ED and Raj returned the favour by attending Uddhav's swearing-in ceremony as he became the first Thackeray CM.