Shiv Sena is a long-time ally of India’s ruling National Democratic Alliance led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). But, during the last Maharashtra state assembly elections both the parties went their separate ways over seat distribution and contested elections alone. The Bharatiya Janata Party emerged as the single largest party in the elections, but in order to get the throne of Maharashtra both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena coalesced again. Since then Shiv Sena has been a ‘bitter frenemy’ of the BJP. It has failed to fulfil the role of a good coalition partner and acted more as a staunch opponent of the BJP.
Uddhav Thackeray has continuously ranted against the Modi government and the BJP. Uddhav has been a complete failure as a politician. During the state assembly elections, the BJP focused on increasing its clout in Maharashtra and Shiv Sena in their blind hatred for the BJP ended up losing their footprints in Maharashtra politics. Shivsena is increasingly becoming irrelevant in Maharashtra.
Recently, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray issued a fresh diktat asking all 18 MPs to abstain from voting during the no-confidence motion. A veteran Shiv Sena MP, who was in the party’s office in Parliament, told DNA,” The party has decided to abstain from voting. All MPs are currently gathered at the party office. MPs have been asked not to be present in the Lok Sabha till the high command take a decision”.
Shiv Sena’s decision to abstain from the voting during the no-confidence motion might turn-out to be a political suicide for them. This Sunday when the BJP President Amit Shah chaired a meeting with Maharashtra unit of the party in Mumbai, he instructed the Maharashtra BJP leaders to start preparing for 2019 General elections keeping in mind the possibility to go solo in the elections.
According to India Today report, the BJP president has asked its Maharashtra leaders to prepare a blueprint to fight for all the 48 seats in the state alone. Amit Shah has also asked the local unit leaders to work hard, strengthen the party at grass root level and prepare networks in all constituencies. The BJP President has also directed to maintain a team of 25 party workers at each polling booth in the state who can successfully spearhead a reach out to the voters. These workers are directed to meet with the local voters and inform them about the works that have been done by the BJP led NDA government. It is expected that this exercise might help in bringing more and more number of voters to the polling booth on the voting day. Amit Shah has also asked for the list of influencers and MLAs who are good performers, who can help to mobilize the voters in BJP’s favour.
According to some political analysts, Uddhav Thackeray will come crawling back to the BJP very soon, but in case if his ego comes in the way then Maharashtra will witness a three-cornered election. In such a contest, Shiv Sena will turn out to be the biggest loser. Sources also claim that Uddhav Thackeray is not reluctant to enter into a pre-poll alliance with the BJP but in the assembly election he wants old seat-sharing formula between the BJP and Shivsena. However, the BJP does not want to return to old formula because Shiv Sena is a declining force and it has lost its charm and clout. According to India Today, a source said, “The lack of trust is deep now. Uddhav is ready to return but needs a face saver to convince his party cadres. He wants a seat-sharing proposition where BJP gets more seats in Lok Sabha and Shiv Sena gets more assembly seats. He knows the stakes for Modi-Shah duo are high as they want to win Delhi again. But if Modi wins 2019 he may not like to be Sena’s junior partner in Maharashtra”.
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