The Shiv Sena is a party on the decline, and the cause of its failure is the lacklustre leadership of party executive president Uddhav Thackeray, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar told Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview.
Just four days ahead of the Mumbai municipal election, where the Congress-NCP alliance is pitted against the Shiv Sena-BJP ruling combine, Pawar slammed the junior Thackeray, saying he lacked the charisma and leadership that had made his father, Shiv Sena founder and chief Bal Thackeray, an icon in Maharashtra.
Speaking to HT in Pune, Pawar said: “Uddhav does not inspire confidence in the people. The party’s influence will dwindle further after these elections.”
Adding insult to injury, the Maratha strongman said Uddhav’s cousin and archrival, Raj, who broke away from the Sena to form his own party six years ago, seemed more likely to keep the political legacy of his uncle alive.
“Raj has the charisma and style of his uncle,” said Pawar. “The day his Maharashtra Navnirman Sena was formed, the Sena’s decline began. ”
Discussing the post-poll scenario and his own party, Pawar, who is also Union agriculture minister, indicated that the real political battle of the future would be between the Congress and his NCP.
“In the zilla parishad and recent municipal council elections, the competition has been between the Congress and NCP,” he said.