BJP-Shiv Sena finally break up – A look at the bittersweet relation between two former allies

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Updated: November 11, 2019 4:07:23 PM

BJP-Shiv Sena breakup: The rocky relationship between both the saffron parties saw several ups and downs in the past, but both somehow managed to stay together so far.

maharashtra cm, bJP, shiv sena, uddhav thackeray, amit shahUddhav Thackeray remained firm on his stand over rotational CM. (File Photo/PTI)

BJP-Shiv Sena alliance breakup: The Shiv Sena on Monday decided to break all ties with Bharatiya Janata Party, thus ending a nearly 30-year-old alliance. The lone Shiv Sena minister in the Narendra Modi government, Arvind Sawant, resigned today after days of bickering between the two alliance partners over rotational chief ministership. The parties had first come together in 1984. However, this is not for the first time that the two parties have parted ways.

The rocky relationship between both the saffron parties saw several ups and downs in the past, but both somehow managed to stay together so far. It was the Hindutva ideology they shared which apparently kept them together. Shiv Sena’s latest decision to break up with the BJP is largely aimed at denying the Amit Shah-led party play a dominant role in Maharashtra by portraying Aaditya Thackeray as the leader who would go on to rule the region for years to come.

With 56 seats, Shiv Sena emerged as the second largest party after BJP which won 105 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly. Together the parties had won a clear majority. Shiv Sena decided to dig its heels deep demanding the CM post as per a “50-50 formula of rotational Chief Minister” which it claimed was agreed upon ahead of the Lok Sabha election 2019. The BJP rejected their being any such deal between Uddhav Thackeray and Amit Shah.

Also Read: Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar keep Shiv Sena guessing on govt formation in Maharashtra

Uddhav Thackeray is now hoping to fulfil the promise he made to father and Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray to make a Shiv Sainik the CM of the state with the support from Sharad Pawar’s NCP and Congress. It is still not clear whether the Congress will be part of the new government or lend support from outside. Whatever be the case, Maharashtra’s potboiler has certainly shifted a few political axes.

The love-hate relationship of Shiv Sena, BJP

In January 2018, Shiv Sena had declared that it was breaking all ties with the BJP and will contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and Maharashtra Assembly elections. It was the second time in four years when fissures appeared in Sena-BJP alliance and both the parties decided to go their own way.

However, the parties buried their hatchets to come together for the general elections which saw the BJP returning to power in the Centre with a bigger mandate than 2014. Shiv Sena was offered 24 seats by the BJP, four more than previous elections.

In 2014 too, both the parties contested Maharashtra polls separately. The BJP had then formed the government on the basis of being the single largest party with 122 seats. The Shiv Sena, which had then won 63 seats, joined the government a month later.

Going by what has happened in the past, it shouldn’t be surprising if the parties come together once again ahead of an election.

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