The spectacular performance of BJP in the Maharashtra State Assembly Election has revealed the political folly of Shiv Sena in splitting with BJP. Due to its break up with BJP, Shiv Sena now finds itself in a weaker position in the Maharashtra Political Map.
Shiv Sena is now lonely than ever before and even if they again ally with the BJP, they have lost the ‘senior’ member tag that they had enjoyed in their past alliance with BJP in Maharashtra.
The massive victory of Modi-led BJP in the 15th Lok Sabha election had made it evidently clear that BJP enjoys the faith of a new aspirational India. The Pro-Modi mood, that boosted BJP to its biggest triumph in the Lok Sabha Election, was being augmented by an equally strong anti-congress and anti-incumbency sentiment in the state level as well.
The failure to discern and acknowledge this fact has led to the inflexible stance that the Shiv Sena adopted during the pre poll seat sharing negotiations with the BJP. If Shiv Sena had been cautious about the growing prowess and popularity of its junior partner BJP and thought to counter it by being inflexible and unwilling to share more seats with BJP, then this act has surely backfired.
It was imperative for Mr. Uddhav Thackeray to be more accommodating with BJP for the long term interests of Shiv Sena as well as his own Political ambitions. If he would have agreed to give BJP 130 seats and kept 151 seats for the Shiv Sena then he would have found himself in a far stronger position. Perhaps Shiv Sena, riding on anti-congress and pro-BJP mood, could have emerged as the single largest party.
This decision, of not to share more seats with the BJP, amounts to a political blunder and have cost Uddhav Thackeray not only his chances of being the Chief Minister but also the tag of being the chief Hindutva party that the Shiv Sena has enjoyed in Maharashtra.
Even if Shiv Sena agrees to ally with BJP and help form the government, Shiv Sena will not be enjoying the preeminent position that it had enjoyed in their alliance with BJP and other small parties in the last 25 years.
This mandate of people in the Maharashtra election has changed the Political picture of the state, which might have serious bearings for all the Chief political parties involved in Maharashtra Politics. The BJP finds itself promoted from a junior member of an alliance to the single largest party in Maharashtra state Polity. The NCP and the Congress appear to be more isolated than ever and might approach each other to form a strong opposition.
Shiv Sena not only lost its eminence in being the chief anti-congress party but has also lost the opportunity to form a government on its own leadership. The Shiv Sena can either sit in the opposition or support BJP as a junior partner.
The decision of not sharing more seats with BJP has ultimately undermined the position of Shiv Sena in the Maharashtra politics and will have serious repercussions on the future BJP- Shiv Sena relations. This political blunder has cost Shiv Sena dearly indeed!
By: Avinandan Choudhury