New Delhi: The fight between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its friend Shiv Sena, which started in 2014 during Maharashtra Assembly elections over seat sharing issue, concluded on Tuesday with Shiv Sena declaring that it will go alone in 2019 General and Assembly Elections.
The decision was taken in the Party’s national executive meet and Sanjay Raut had moved a resolution in this regard.
However, as I said in the starting, the seed of the fight sowed in 2014 itself when both–BJP and Shiv Sena–contested elections independently.
Over the time the things got worse with Sena questioning BJP government at the Centre on many occasions. Quite sometimes Sena also took jibes at PM Narendra Modi.
The party had been in coalition with BJP for Lok Sabha as well as Maharashtra Assembly since 1989. The two formed a government in Maharashtra between 1995-1999. The Sena was the opposition party in the state along with the BJP from 1999 to 2014.
However, 25 years old alliance of Sena and BJP ended on Tuesday.
What effects divorce will have on both the parties and in the politics of Maharashtra?
Let’s first talk about BJP
Saffron party is presently in power in Maharashtra and will face Assembly elections in the same year when General elections will take place in the country.
Obviously, the pressure on the one who is in power is more as he wants to retain it.
Losing an ally in the state will mean division of votes and more competition for the BJP. The party will have to fight not only the Shiv Sena but also the Congress.
And as we all know that there is nothing concrete in politics so if Shiv Sena joins hand with the Congress, the competition will be even more tough for the ruling party.
Now let’s talk about Shiv Sena
It may be recalled that the Shiv Sena in December 2017 had said that the Gujarat Assembly poll campaign had transformed Rahul Gandhi into a leader.
Rahul had campaigned extensively in the then election-bound state. He had also visited a number of temples in Gujarat, which his party believed would help counter the Hindutva platform of its rival.
“The polls have proved that Rahul Gandhi is not a Pappu anymore. The BJP should have a big heart and accept this,” Shiv Sena had said reported news agency PTI.
So seeing these developments, it will not be shocking to me if in future I will see Shiv Sena and Congress joining hands together.
It is pertinent to mention here that building a grand alliance (against BJP) is already on the cards for the grand old party.
On the other hand, alliance between NCP & Congress seems a bit difficult at present as Congress in January this year had already said that there were practical difficulties in renewing the alliance with the NCP for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections
The two Opposition parties had an acrimonious break-up ahead of the 2014 state polls.
Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan had said that had the NCP not withdrawn support and called off the tie-up, the alliance together would have got 35 percent votes. “Contesting separately was a loss to both the parties,” he said, reported PTI.
So it seems that politics in Maharashtra will witness a lot of activities in the days to come.