In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them.
Sun Tzu – Art of War
In recent times if one had to call out one of the better student and follower of the Chinese Philosopher & Military Strategist – Sun Tzu then I have no doubt it has to be Shri Eknath Shinde.
The suddenness of the move, without an iota of leak in the media is something that still baffles most of us. I mean to only hear about this after more than thirty legislatures reached Surat, is mind boggling. On the one hand it shows their level of disenchantment with the state leadership and on the other hand the play of ‘A Third Party’ in bankrolling such a dissent. Chaperoning the disgruntled / managed legislators from one BJP ruled state to another.
However much the leader of the break-away section of the Shiv Sena espouse the cause of Hindutva for this implosion, I believe it was made possible by the application of the right amount of lubrication to make this friction bearable & possible.
However if one has to look back, this isn’t a one off case. There have been previous examples too where a political party has been broken away from its founding members. Two major such events have been:
- National Conference:
Sheikh Abdullah founded this party in the state of Jammu Kashmir. His son Farooq Abdullah succeeded him as the Chief Minister of the state after his death in 1982 and further went on to win the 1983 Assembly Elections with comfortable majority. A majority that was short lived as in 1984 his brother-in-law Ghulam Mohammad Shah split the party to become the Chief Minister. As of today the party very much remains firmly in control of the Abdullah’s and a major political force in the state and the country. While Ghulam Mohammad Shah after his short tenure remains in the margins of Jammu Kashmir politics
- Telgu Desham Party:
The Telugu Desham Party was founded by actor turned politician N. T. Rama Rao in 1982 in the erstwhile unified state of Andhra Pradesh. He was thrice elected as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. The last election he fought was in 1994 wining 269 seats in the 294 seat Assembly. This huge majority and his tenure were cut short by his Son-In-Law Chandra Babu Naidu led revolt in the party. Chandra Babu Naidu replaced NTR to become the CM in 1995 till 2004 and once again from 2014-2019. NTR died in 1986. The reigns of the party firmly remains in the hands of Chandra Babu Naidu
The question is whether the revolt by Shri Eknath Shinde will be a short lived like that one of Ghulam Mohammad Shah or whether he will be able to hold on to his ground like Chandra Babu Naidu.
I have a feeling the answer to this question can only be answered by the third party involved in this whole implosion.