Maharashtra Assembly Election : “Everything is not Fine” between Sena-BJP
Maharashtra Assembly Election : The NDA alliance in Maharashtra is likely to announce its seat sharing formula this week. BJP National President and Home Minister Amit is set to visit the state once again on 26th of September. However, the two saffron allies, BJP and Shiv Sena are yet to come to conclusion. The seat sharing issue between BJP-Sena is more likely heading towards 2014 Assembly Election scenario where both the parties contested solo in the state.
Why the Deadlock?
Since 1995, Shiv Sena and BJP have contested election in Maharashtra together. However, Shiv Sena, then under Bala Sahab Thackrey, played the role of big brother in the state. The 2014 Lok Sabha election, changed the entire scenario and BJP was no longer ready to play a younger brother role. The two saffron allies broke up and contested Assembly election of 2014 all by themselves. Since the result did not give clear mandate to any party, and BJP being the single largest party, they came together to form government under the leadership of Devender Fadnavis.
BJP-Sena alliance since then has never had a smooth sailing with Sena provoking BJP and PM Modi for almost entire 5 years. Yet the parties contested the Lok Sabha election together with a condition of sharing 50-50 seats in Lok Sabha as well as in Maharashtra Assembly Election. BJP at present sits at helm of power and is no mood to bow down to Sena’s pressure tactics. Shiv Sena which has almost lost the credibility in state knows that going solo will be a disaster. However, it is also in no mood to accept the number of seats below its demand.
Why Everything is not Fine?
The first round of talks between BJP-Shiv Sena has already happened. Shiv Sena leaders are not ready to accept anything below 137 seats out of 288 assembly seats. On the other hand, BJP is adamant on contesting 160+ seats leaving around 120 seats to Sena. Added to it, if rumours are to be believed, Sena is also pressing BJP for rotation of Chief Minister after election. Shiv Sena wants to promote Thackrey scion, Aditya Thackrey as CM of Maharashtra. However, BJP seems to have no interest in such proposal. Amit Shah who was in Mumbai on Sunday, 22nd September in his address to people said that Devendra Fadnavis will continue to stay CM after election.
This is not the first time that BJP-Sena has had differences. However, since 2014, both Sena and BJP have been fighting among themselves to rest their supremacy over Maharashtra. BJP feels that it has extended its influence over the 170 seats and it believes that with all its efforts it may touch the magic number of 145 seats in the state on its own. Shiv Sena too realises this fact and believes that if such scenario comes up, the party will lose the hold that it has over the state of Maharashtra.
Two oldest allies BJP-Shiv Sena may have had differences, yet they were able to solve it. However, this time things seems to be completely different. The oppositions be it Congress or NCP or any other party and nowhere to be seen in the scenario. The election have turned out to be a one-sided election with both BJP-Sena confident of forming government once again. Therefore, Sena feels that letting BJP to dictate the terms of alliance and holding on to power once again will prove to be disastrous for them. By this week, BJP-Sena is expected to finalise the seat sharing formula. But at present “Everything is not Fine” between BJP and Shiv Sena.