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Finally the suspense over ‘Yuti’ (alliance) unveils

There can be any drama or stretch, but BJP and Sena alliance is investable. It took very long to announce that they are going in hand in hand but never mind this is not the first time that Sena and BJP overextended conjectures. Shiv Sena has its own attitude and that Uddhav is maintaining like the boss of Maharashtra, inspite of being in alliance he hauled the Congress line for almost five years. Even Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ recited the Congress slogan ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ and also praised Rahul Gandhi on several occasions. Uddhav and Sanjay Raut left no chance in trolling BJP and Modi, they aggressively criticised their alliance on many instances. However, reality always stings. Uddhav Thackeray was well aware that SS alone would be reduced in the general election. BJP too knew that its seat numbers would be reduced without an alliance especially when there’s a CongressNCP alliance. Thus, dire need brought BJP and Shiv Sena together.

BJP being accommodative gave a couple of more seats to Shiv Sena and they perhaps agreed to BJP’s demand to contest equal seats in the upcoming 2019 assembly election of Maharashtra. The problem started now after a BJP member claimed that although both BJP and Shiv Sena are contesting assembly election as an alliance, Devendra Fadnavis would remain as Chief Ministerial candidate. To that Shiv Sena disapproved citing that as per understanding the Chief Ministership will be shared between BJP and Shiv Sena. The issue is not so simple. Shiv Sena, although at present is trailing from BJP in both vote share and seats, is not ready to leave the big-brother status in Maharashtra polity. On the other hand, BJP is aware that it’s the emerging party in Maharashtra politics with the largest vote share. Thus, the game began on deciding who would be the CM and deputy CM of Maharashtra.

Sena has already declared some seats and their contestants are ready with B-forms, where as BJP is yet to decide and declare its seats, it took too long for them to announce the list of candidates. BJP will fight the polls under Fadnavis’ leadership; various reports about contours of the seat-sharing formula are doing rounds. In a way BJP is in dilemma, because Shiv Sena has recently picked all-powerful candidates in its camp from NCP and Congress. Surprisingly, Uddhav has matured in politics and his son also came in battlefield. Whereas BJP knows that people will give them some mandate but if Sena manages equal share of seats then there would be fight over CM post, definitely Sena will not allow Devendra as CM. BJP chief Chandrakant Patil expressed confidence that the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is in fine health and they would get 220 seats in the upcoming Assembly elections. Meanwhile Shiv Sena is claiming to win 120 seats same as BJP.

As the assembly election draws closer, sections in the BJP are beginning to feel that perhaps it’s time to go solo and win Maharashtra on its own. However, there are deeper undercurrents to the saga.

However, Shiv Sena constantly demanded that it should be treated as a bigger brother in Maharashtra state polity. In 2019 general election also, BJP got 27.53 per cent vote share with 23 seats out of 25 seats whereas Shiv Sena got 23.29 per cent vote share with 18 seats out of 23 seats it contested. Shiv Sena got 2.60 per cent vote share more than that of 2014. Then it’s a fact that Shiv Sena contested in three more seats compared to 2014 and then 2019 general election win is considered a victory for Narendra Modi and not of any other.

Looking at the present scenario and Sena’s attitude, one should not be surprised if Shiv Sena demands the Chief Minister’s post at least on sharing basis (2.5 years each). On the other hand, BJP is not likely to agree with that. BJP will ask for equal seats of balance seats after allotting to smaller allies along with BJP’s CM. BJP has another benefit that Maharashtra Congress is decaying and most Congress leaders are trying to join BJP as first choice or NCP as the second choice. On the other hand, NCP is also not in a good situation especially due to the frictions among family members as well as party members. BJP will hope that it will capture spaces from Congress and NCP while Shiv Sena will harp on possible anti-incumbency of Devendra Fadnavis. Rest the voters of Maharashtra will decide. In politics, there’s always give and take.

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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