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Why Shiv Sena wants to end alliance with BJP in Maharashtra?

The BJP and Shiv Sena fight has more to do with fight for supremacy and egos as the latter does not want the former to lead the alliance partner.


Updated:October 13, 2015, 2:30 PM IST
Why Shiv Sena wants to end alliance with BJP in Maharashtra?
The BJP and Shiv Sena fight has more to do with fight for supremacy and egos as the latter does not want the former to lead the alliance partner.

Mumbai: Will they? Won’t they? People of Maharashtra are asking these two questions. Some feel that the alliance between BJP and Shiv Sena is over, the only thing left is official break-up. But a section is of the view that Shiv Sena won’t rock the boat now.

The oldest electoral alliance in India had come to an end in 2014 a month before the Maharashtra Assembly elections. After the BJP failed to get a clear majority in the Assembly, the ‘wounded’ Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray reluctantly re-united with the BJP extending support to the Devendra Fadnavis-led government.

The BJP also ‘reluctantly’ accepted the support and offered Shiv Sena MLAs minor portfolios in Maharashtra Cabinet. But the BJP-Shiv Sena relationship have been strained beyond repair in the last one year. Shiv Sena has been openly attacking the BJP on various issues.

The Shiv Sena has always been unconformable with the idea of Narendra Modi leading the BJP. It had attacked him before the Lok Sabha elections and had even questioned his leadership capabilities.

They unwillingly fought the 2014 Lok Sabha elections together. After Modi became the Prime Minister, he treated Shiv Sena with some kind of ‘contempt’. It was also offered just one Cabinet berth at the Centre. There have been talks of Shiv Sena pulling out of the Modi government for the past one year.

Fight for Supremacy

The BJP and Shiv Sena fight has more to do with fight for supremacy and egos. Shiv Sena does not want to BJP to lead the alliance partner. It believes that Maharashtra is Sena’s fiefdom and the BJP should follow Sena. Sena founder Bal Thackeray had an excellent rapport with the BJP stalwarts Aatal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani. They had mutual respect and admiration.

The BJP point-person late Pramod Mahajan, who actually forged alliance with the Sena also had an excellent relationship Bal Thackeray and other Sena cadres. After his death, Mahajan's brother-in-law and BJP's face in Maharashtra the late Gopinath Munde handled the relationship. Since both Mahajan and Munde met with an untimely death, the BJP is left with nobody of that stature to deal with the Sena.

Though both BJP and Shiv Sena practice the same ‘nationalism’, Shiv Sena’s ‘nationalism’ is more local and embarrasses the BJP at times. Sena is also worried about the possibility of BJP growing in its strongholds in the state. The Sena cadre is also getting increasingly impatient. Uddhav knows that staying with the BJP and swallowing insults will ruin his party in the long run. He has been waiting for an opportunity to pull out and go down as a martyr.

What next?

If the Shiv Sena walks out of the alliance, Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra will be in trouble. It won't collapse overnight because the NCP-led Sharad Pawar may back the government.

It is a well known fact that Pawar shares a great rapport with local BJP leaders including Fadnavis. Sena thinks that sitting in the opposition for the next four years would be more beneficial to the party rather than continuing with the alliance with no say in the matters of the state.

BJP-Shiv Sena points of tussle

- Sena peeved after its representative in Modi cabinet, Anant Geete wasn't given a meaty portfolio.

- Differences over seat sharing before 2014 Assembly elections resulted in both sides contesting independently

- Sena forced to forgo demand for Deputy CM and Home Ministry.

- Sena at the 11th hour pulled back its nominee for Modi's Cabinet expansion MP Anil Desai after he was offered MoS post

- Senior Sena leader Suresh Prabhu quit party to join BJP and was made a Union Cabinet Minister

- After BJP's drubbing in Delhi polls, Uddhav claimed it was a defeat for Modi and waning of Modi wave

- Sena's mouthpiece Saamana constantly takes potshots at BJP leadership at state and Centre

- Sena opposed the state government's meat ban calling it an attack on Marathi eating habits

- Despite Fadnavis' assurance of security for Ghulam Ali concert, it was called off after Sena's open threat

- Fadnavis accused Sena of turning the state into banana republic after the latter threatened the launch of Kasuri's book

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