Podcast | Who Is the Big Brother in Maharashtra – Sena or BJP?
Recently, Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray called for a meeting with party leaders to decide on whether or not to have an alliance with the BJP. After the meeting, Shiv Sena’s leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut on 28 January said, “We are the big brother in Maharashtra”.
While on the other hand, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “Those who support Hindutva will support us, else the people won’t support them...But we’ll fight the election without those who are not with us and alongside those who are with us anyway.”
The Shiv Sena has been continuously hinting on going for polls on its own, and the BJP is trying to reconcile differences while also making it clear that it won't beg for an alliance.
But what is this cryptic passive aggression? Why not just stick together or leave the alliance altogether?
Click on the play button below and listen to the podcast for more!
Let's dive into the very reason behind the formation of this alliance that took place in 1984. BJP and Shiv Sena appeared to be ideal allies – BJP was becoming a pan indian party and it needed regional support and Shiv Sena dominated Maharashtra. Now here's the catch, Maharashtra has 48 seats, only second to UP – thus a symbiotic relationship was formed. And it paid up and how! In 1995, they broke Congress’ unchallenged dominion in the state and formed a coalition government in the state. In fact, in the last general elections of 2014, this alliance won as many as 41 seats.
But things have been rocky since 2014 Maharashtra state Assembly elections. Before 2014, the seat sharing formula between the parties for the state elections was 171 seats to Shiv Sena and 117 to the BJP. But that is history because before 2014, the BJP demanded equal share of the seat and rejected the old seat sharing. After disagreements, the parties contested separately and the BJP got its first CM post in the state. The BJP fell short of two seats to form majority and the alliance was back, but Shiv Sena was clearly not calling the shots. In fact, it didn't even get the portfolios it demanded for.
And all that has been affecting their alliance. Shiv Sena has been vocally critical of the BJP and its policies at both the state level and at the Centre.
But one thing is for sure, both the parties are aware that without an alliance, the Hindu vote might get divided and that maybe the reason why neither parties can stay with each other, nor can they stay without each other.