GET Stock QuotesNews18 APP
News18 English
»
2-min read

Has BJP Burned Bridges With Shiv Sena After Palghar Bypolls Victory?

The BJP wants the Shiv Sena to read the writing on the wall and accept BJP as the senior partner. But Uddhav knows any such move may be detrimental to the Sena and may give enough space to his cousin Raj Thackeray to bounce back.

Venkatesh Kesari |

Updated:June 2, 2018, 8:23 AM IST
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
Has BJP Burned Bridges With Shiv Sena After Palghar Bypolls Victory?
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis with Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray. (File photo: PTI)
Loading...
With opposition votes getting divided, BJP has managed to retain Palghar Lok Sabha seat in Maharashtra. But in the process, it has badly hurt its oldest ally Shiv Sena. The Tiger is wounded and may retaliate ferociously at the choice of its own timing and place.

The outcome of the Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya bypolls has also come as a wake-up call for the BJP’s aspirations to be a pan-Maharashtra party under the leadership of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Both Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya were BJP seats to lose as its candidates - late Chintaman Vanaga and Nana Patole - won from there in the Lok Sabha elections held in 2014. NCP’s revival in Bhandara –Gondiya is not only a setback for Devendra Fadnavis and union minister Nitin Gadkari as it could upset the BJP’s calculations in Vidarbha region.

On the other hand the Palghar bypoll has not only widened the rift between the ruling partners—BJP and Shiv Sena - but created an inveterate bitterness between Uddhav Thackeray and Fadnavis. The differences have percolated down to the cadres working at the grass roots.

So any attempts at rapprochement even by the top BJP leadership may not be easy.

The BJP wants the Shiv Sena to read the writing on the wall and accept BJP as the senior partner. But Uddhav knows any such move may be detrimental to the Sena and may give enough space to his cousin Raj Thackeray to bounce back.

The chemistry between Sena and BJP who came together on Hindutva ideology in 1989, changed after 2014 Lok Sabha elections when the BJP realised that it has the pan-Maharashtra appeal and thus attempted to emerge as an alternate to the Congress. It tried to make inroads into traditional Congress base - especially the youth amongst the Marathas as it went about splitting the Dalit vote bank of NCP-Congress combine.

On the other hand, Shiv Sena after senior Thackeray’s demise hardly made any efforts to charter fresh territory hoping its rabid-Hindtva and `Marathi Manoos” card would bring it back to power.

The BJP had even fielded candidates against the Shiv Sena in the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation BMC and won seats in areas with substantial non-Marathi population.

What are the options before the Sena now? If it decides to quit government, can it survive without power?

Central leaders of the BJP look confident that no party would prefer to ally with the Shiv Sena because of its strident position on Hindutva and Marathi sub-nationalism. “Where will they (Sena) go? Who will accept them, they will have to stay with us,” a key BJP national leader said.

But then there have been instances in the past when the Sena has tacitly supported the Congress. The party backed the Emergency and did not put up candidates against the Congress in 1980 Lok Sabha polls. The elections saw Congress winning a clear majority in the general elections.

Former Maharashta CM AR Antulay in a quid pro quo gesture helped Sena to get its candidates nominated to the legislative council.

The Shiv Sena, which was once known as “Vasant Sena” because of the tacit support rendered for another former Congress CM Vasantra Naik, also had good equations with NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

The BJP got political strength in Maharashtra because of rebel Congress leaders and distrust between Congress and NCP after fifteen years in power. The political churning in the state has begun. 2019 will a completely different ball game.

(The author is a senior journalist. Views are personal)
| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
Read full article
Loading...
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch

facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp

Live TV

Loading...
Loading...