Shiv Sena to Contest 2019 Polls Solo, BJP Says Move Will Backfire

Shiv Sena has decided to snap ties with long term ally BJP in  the 2019 polls.

Updated
India
2 min read
Aditya and Uddhav Thackeray of Shiv Sena with the BJP’s Amit Shah and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis.
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In a major political development, the Shiv Sena has decided to fly solo in the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly polls and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, ruling out alliance with its long term ally BJP. Shiv Sena on Tuesday, 23 January, passed a resolution moved by MP Sanjay Raut after it was unanimously supported by all party leaders.

Aditya Thackeray, son of Uddhav Thackeray and Yuva Sena chief, has been elevated to the Shiv Sena national executive committee as a leader.

In a meeting held in Mumbai on Tuesday, Aditya was elevated to the core committee as an official Shiv Sena ‘leader’. The meeting was held in the backdrop of late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray’s birth anniversary.

Uddhav Thackeray, who was unanimously re-elected as the party chief, made important political announcements in the meet while criticising the Modi government.

He blamed the BJP for diverting people’s attention from real issues during the Gujarat elections and using Pakistan as a backdrop for election campaigning. He also targeted PM Modi over Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Ahmedabad, and the Kashmir issue.

Training their guns at the rank and file of the BJP, including Chandrakant Patil, he also slammed the party for the way the Bhima-Koregaon protests across the state were handled.

If killing a cow is a sin, isn’t lying to the people of your own country a sin?
Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena Chief

Remembering Sardar Patel and Balasaheb Thackeray, he said that the party did not go national for so many years as it would have divided Hindutva, but now the tides have changed course.

Shiv Sena’s decision was in the offing for some time, as the party has shared a love-hate relationship with the BJP in the state during the past three years, with the two allies constantly being at loggerheads.

The two allies also contested the Brihanmumbai Mahanagar Corporation (BMC) civic polls separately last year, with the Shiv Sena and the BJP almost securing equal number of seats, until CM Devendra Fadnavis decided to back out of the race for the mayor’s post.

The Shiv Sena also secured a major victory in the Thane zilla parishad polls in December last year.

BJP Says It’s Shiv Sena’s Loss

The BJP on Tuesday said the Shiv Sena's decision to go it alone in the Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Assembly elections will backfire on the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.

It will be their loss. We were keen on the alliance. But if the Shiv Sena isn’t keen, then the BJP is ready (to go it alone) and Maharashtra is also ready.
Ashish Shelar, Mumbai BJP chief, as quoted by PTI

The resolution to part ways with the BJP was tabled by Sena MP Sanjay Raut at the party's National Executive meeting and passed unanimously.

(With inputs from PTI and IANS)

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