New Delhi: Amid deteriorating ties with Sena over government formation in Maharashtra, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party leaders including caretaker CM Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday showered praise Bal Thackeray on the seventh death anniversary of the Sena stalwart.

Referring the Sena founder as an ‘inspiration source’, Fadnavis posted a video of Thackeray with PM Modi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and other BJP leaders. “Respected Balasaheb taught people the value of ‘self-respect’. Hundreds of salutations to Hindu Hriday Samrat Bal Thackeray on his death anniversary,” Fadnavis wrote in Marathi along with the video.

Notably, the saffron allies were at loggerheads over the CM’s post ever since the election results of Maharashtra were announced. The parties also snapped their decades-old alliance over Sena’s demand of equal power sharing and rotational CM post. Besides, the Sena also withdrew its sole nominee in the Union Cabinet, Minister for Heavy Industries Arvind Sawant and accused the ruling party of betrayal.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led party also skipped a meeting of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) which took place today on the eve of Parliament session. “No, we will not attend the meeting,” Raut had said ysterday when questioned by mediapersons, indicating that the party has virtually split from the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA.

The Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party first stitched an alliance in 1989 for the Lok Sabha and assembly elections in Maharashtra. The two first formed the government in Maharashtra in 1995 and remained in power till 1999 with Manohar Joshi as its first Chief Minister.

After Joshi’s resignation,  another Shiv Sena leader Narayan Rane succeeded him in the state. The two parties then sat in the opposition in the state from 1999 to 2014 before the BJP came to power in the state and the Centre.

However, in between these years, Shiv Sena has cold-shouldered the BJP on a number of occasions. In 2007, during the Presidential elections, Shiv Sena instead of backing the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Bhairon Singh Shekhawat sided with Congress-led United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) candidate Pratibha Patil.

The Sena snubbed its partner to counter the rise of its turncoat leader Narayan Rane, who had publicly criticised the party Working President Uddhav Thackerey.