Sena to bury the hatchet with BJP and will refrain from commenting against it until election verdict.
The Shiv Sena is likely to soften its stand against BJP after the exit polls have projected the latter to emerge as the single largest party in Maharashtra. Sena leaders are worried after the exit poll survey and reconciliation is on the cards with BJP. The party has been criticising BJP after it broke off the 25 year old alliance in Maharashtra. Sena had even taken a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the chai wala remark which did not go down well with the BJP.
BJP nonetheless had chosen to refrain from making any anti-Sena comments during rallies. Initially, Shiv Sena was confident of playing a dominant role in Maharashtra and had projected Uddhav Thackeray as the Chief Minister of the state. However, exit poll results show that Sena will be bag close to 70 seats and emerge as the second largest party in the state. On the other hand, BJP too is holding discussions about the future course of action to be taken if it fails to gain a majority in the state. Thus both Sena-BJP are on a patch up mode and are willing bury the hatchet for the sake of power. It is rightly said that there are not permanent friends or foes on politics and only permanent interests.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is keeping all options open and waiting for the poll results.
Thackeray said he had always respected Modi. Sources said the core committee of Sena held a meeting where it was decided not to speak against the BJP till the results.
A senior Sena functionary said, “In campaigns when Sena was fighting BJP it had to adopt an aggressive position to reassert itself against Modi’s campaign. The situation is likely to change after the polls as a lot will depend on numbers.”
“There is no need to have arguments or bitterness any more. Hearts have been broken. Though it is difficult to mend broken hearts, Maharashtra needs stability and peace. It is better that we wait for the day of counting,” Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
“If we take exit polls at face value, it seems ego is not going to get us any seats. On the contrary it is likely to have a detrimental effect and we may lose seats that we could have won. So for a change we are contemplating allying with a party that gets some seats,” a rare modest leader from Shiv Sena said on conditions of anonymity and sensibility.
BJP president Amit Shah had convened a meeting to discuss the various possibilities that the party would have to explore in case of a fractured mandate. Sources said if the BJP-led alliance fell on a few seats short of majority, it would look to join hands with smaller parties.
The sources said if the BJP alone won more than 125 seats, it would tap its own allies and smaller groups to reach the 145 mark for government formation. However, if it fails to cross the 100-seat mark, Shiv Sena could an ally.
BJP leader Vinod Tawde said, “With Shiv Sena, we had a fight with them on seats, we are not ideologically different. Only difference was over seat sharing. It means we can go together.