After gaining power of India's richest civic body - the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in 1985, the 'sixth floor' CM office in Mumbai's Mantralay has evaded the Shiv Sena ever since. Fulfilling one of Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray's dreams - as claimed by Shiv Sainiks - Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is set to become the first Thackeray Chief Minister, putting Sena finally in its coveted CM post. Uddhav Thackeray, who had opted out of the NDA - breaking the BJP-Sena alliance of over 35 years, will be sworn-in at 6:40 PM on Thursday at Mumbai's Shivaji Park where his late father Balasaheb Thackeray's memorial is installed.
After taking oath as Chief Minister, Uddhav will have to seek election to the Maharashtra Assembly or the Legislative Council within six months. His son Aaditya Thackeray recently become the first Thackeray to contest elections. He was elected as Worli's MLA and is touted to get a cabinet berth, as per sources.
Born on 27 July 1960, Uddhav Bal Thackeray was the youngest of three sons of Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray. Prior to stepping into active politics, Uddhav Thackeray was keen in photography. With several of his photos exhibited at the Jehangir Art Gallery, he has also published two photo-books Maharashtra Desh (2010) and Pahava Vitthal (2011).
Taking over the mantle from his father, Uddhav first started his political journey through the Sena mouthpiece Saamana. While be the editor of Saamana, Thackeray had openly criticized his own Shiv Sena CM Narayan Rane in 1999. This had eventually led to a fallout between Thackeray and Rane, who was expelled from the party. He later joined Congress, then founded his own party Swabhimani Paksha before merging it with the BJP.
Uddhav Thackeray, who has never held elected office, led the Shiv Sena to a massive victory in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections in 2002, while being the Saamana's editor-in-chief. This catapulted his political career and in 2003, he was formally elected as the Sena's working president. With him being chosen as Balasaheb's political heir, his cousin Raj Thackeray broke away from the party to start his own party- Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in 2005. Recently, there have been reports of reconciliation between the two brothers on a personal level when Uddhav supported his cousin when he was probed by the ED.
After Balasaheb's demise in 2012, Uddhav formally took over the reins of the Shiv Sena. In the run-up to the 2014 State Assembly elections, the Shiv Sena had broken away from their NDA ally BJP over a seat-sharing issue. After the BJP became largest party in the 2014 Assembly elections, Sena reconciled with their ally till the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
Demanding a 50:50 power-sharing and 2.5-year share in the Chief Minister's post, Uddhav had on several occasions indicated that he will not ally with the BJP in both the Lok Sabha and the Assembly polls, but later chose to remain in the alliance. After the Assembly polls in October the Mahayuti alliance was set to form the government with a combined tally of 161 seats (105 -BJP, 56- Shiv Sena). Relations turned sour after the BJP refused to Shiv Sena's demands, leading to the president's rule in Maharashtra. Shiv Sena then stitched up an alliance with ideological opposites NCP-Congress alliance (98 seats) to form the next government, after the Fadnavis govt fell after three days - with NCP's Ajit Pawar rescinding his support.
Caving to the Sena's stubborn demand for the CM post, Uddhav Thackeray was chosen to be the leader of the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance and staked claim to form the next government. With Thackeray becoming the next CM, NCP and Congress too bagged a deputy CM each. The governor has given till December 3 to the Thackeray-led government to prove its numbers.