The political turmoil that NT Rama Rao’s Telugu Desam Party witnessed in August 1995, is seeing a renaissance in the Shiv Sena, which not only ousted him from power but also ended his political career. Is the same fate happening to Uddhav Thackeray?
Why the turmoil?
In the case of TDP, almost all the MLAs of the party were against giving the reins of the party to NTR by his second wife N Lakshmi Parvati. For this Parvati was verbally abused by her critics. He alleged that he tricked her into marrying the veteran actor-turned-politician. For NTR, Parvati was his lucky charm. He returned to the corridors of power with a record majority after marrying her.
In the case of Shiv Sena, the rebel MLAs claim that their Hindutva-based party has been forced into an unnatural alliance with the NCP and Congress and their only demand is to come out of the political faction called Maha Vikas Aghadi. Hindutva is the main vote bank of Shiv Sena MLAs and they would not like to face a better Hindutva force, the BJP, in the next elections. They really want the Shiv Sena to reunite with the BJP.
NTR’s son-in-law N Chandrababu Naidu was also the finance and revenue minister in the government. Naidu was not the only one from NTR’s family in the turmoil. NTR’s other son-in-law, Daggubati Venkateswara Rao, and two sons, Nandamuri Harikrishna and Balakrishna, worked together to dethrone him. The TDP legislators were not happy with being ignored and controlled by the politically inexperienced N Lakshmi Parvati. Naidu actually had a heated conversation with NTR on the issue, but later NTR refused to listen to any other voices criticizing him or Parvati. In a way, he had become inaccessible to the party legislators.
Naidu said rebellion against NTR was the only way out of political turmoil, the only way to save it from an evil force (N Lakshmi Parvati).
In the case of Shiv Sena, Maharashtra’s PWD and Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde, a senior leader and once a close aide of Uddhav Thackeray, is leading the rebel camp. The common complaint of Shiv Sena MLAs is that Uddhav has become completely inaccessible. He says, “You wait for hours at the CM’s bungalow but you will not be given an appointment to meet him.” Even Uddhav’s cabinet ministers faced difficulties in meeting or contacting him. .
Eknath Shinde says rebellion is now the only way to take the party back to the ideals of Balasaheb Thackeray which the current leadership has forgotten.
In the 1994 Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections, the TDP under NTR won 216 out of 294 seats. Around 200 MLAs were in the rebel camp during the rebellion.
The rebellion in Shiv Sena began on Monday, June 20. On that day, as per Shinde’s claims, he had the support of 11 Shiv Sena MLAs, which now exceeds the 50 claimed by him. This means that as per Shinde’s claims, more than 75% of the 55 Shiv Sena MLAs have revolted against Uddhav.
Result – TDP
According to Naidu, the main objective of the TDP rebellion in 1995 was change of leadership and formation of a new government. With 92% of the MLAs standing against NTR, along with some of his relatives, it was a quick turn of events.
The rebellion began on 23 August 1995. The rebel MLAs were accommodated in the Hotel Viceroy and in the following days their numbers increased as in the case of Shiv Sena. The rebel group elected Naidu and removed NTR as leader of the Telugu Desam Legislature Party (TDLP). The next step was to remove NTR from power and make Naidu the chief minister of undivided Andhra.
On August 25, 1995, NTR dismissed five ministers, including Naidu, passed a resolution to dissolve the assembly for fresh elections, and approached the governor to submit cabinet resolutions. But Naidu was a quick mover. By the time NTR reached the Raj Bhavan, the governor already had a proposal for the rebel TDLP. On 27 August 1995, the Governor asked NTR to prove his majority by 31 August.
On August 30, 1995, NTR was dismissed and Naidu was elected as the party chief by the TDP State Executive Committee. NTR resigned before the trust vote on August 31, 1995. Naidu took oath on September 1, 1995.
Result – Shiv Sena
Eknath Shinde was the leader of the Legislature Party of Shiv Sena. He was sacked on June 21, 2022. On June 22, the party gave an ultimatum to the rebel MLAs to attend the party meeting at the CM residence by 5 pm or they would lose their membership. Shinde hit back saying that the order was not legally valid as 34 Shiv Sena MLAs had signatures in his favor. Shinde actually called the group with him the real Shiv Sena.
Uddhav made an emotional appeal to the rebel Shiv Sena leaders on the same day, but remained silent on his main demand – the MVA coming out of the alliance. He praised Sharad Pawar of the NCP and Sonia Gandhi on behalf of the Congress and blamed the BJP without naming names. He also moved out of the Chief Minister’s official residence and offered the CM’s chair to another Shiv Sena leader.
The Shinde camp has now decided to stake claim on the Shiv Sena’s election symbol ‘bow and arrow’ with over 50 MLAs.
In TDP’s case, it took nine days for the political turmoil to end. Shiv Sena political chaos is in its fifth day on Friday, with a resolution just a few minutes away.
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