New Delhi: As Shiv Sena ended its 30-year-old alliance with Bharatiya Janata Party over rotational Chief Ministership in Maharashtra, Union Minister Giriraj Singh shared a picture of saffron party founder Balasaheb Thackeray with the BJP patriarchs Atal Bihai Vajpayee and LK Advani.
“Bala Saheb’s years of penance gave Sanatanis (traditionalists) hope and recognition in Maharashtra. Today, Bala Saheb would be pained to see (the party) go with opponents of Hindutva. History will testify how Bala saheb united everyone, while others divided,” he tweeted in Hindi.
His post on Twitter came after Sanjay Raut, Sena leader and Uddhav Thackeray’s close aide declared that they would would form government in Maharashtra with Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress.
Notably, the saffron allies were at loggerheads over the CM’s post ever since the election results of Maharashtra were announced. While the Sena accused the BJP of breaking “promise” of equal division of power in the state, the BJP asserted that it had never agreed to share the post of chief minister.
About The Love-Hate Relation Between Sena And BJP
The two parties who were wedded to the Hindutva ideology finally part their ways after an acrimonious relationship for over five years.
The first strains in their ties surfaced in the 2014 assembly polls when they fought separately after the Sena’s refusal to part with the number of seats the BJP wanted. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the BJP to an unprecedented win in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, it sensed an opening in Maharashtra to oust Sena from the position of senior ally, a position the party founded by Bal Thackeray had enjoyed till his reign.
The Sena was forced to become the junior partner as the BJP won 122 seats in the 288-member assembly while it won 63. They joined hands to form the government, with the BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis becoming the chief minister. The first and only saffron government in the state earlier between 1995-2000 was headed by Sena leaders.
The Sena, however, never reconciled to its reduced status as the lotus bloomed in one local poll after another and the BJP under Modi and its president Amit Shah also became the flag bearer of Hindutva with Thackeray’s party following in its shadow. Through its mouthpiece Saamana and sundry leaders Sena kept attacking the Modi government off and on and even blocked its leader Anil Desai from joining as a minister in the Centre.
This time, when the Sena and BJP achieved an absolute majority with 161 seats out of 288, but the Uddhav Thackeray-led party insisted on implementation of 50:50 formula, under-which both the allies have CM for 2.5 years. The party claimed that they had accepted all conditions put forth by the BJP when they came together in 2014 after a brief break-up but this time ‘we won’t blink first’.