After expressing their bitter ‘brotherhood’ for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for years after 2014 general election, Shiv Sena, finally, joined hands with the former for the upcoming general election 2019 as well as the state assembly election. In a press conference on Monday, Shiv Sena – BJP jointly confirmed the news of their ‘maha’ alliance. “We have been allies for 25 years. There were some differences between us but we both are hindutva parties. For some reasons, we could not come together in the past for the assembly elections, but we are still together in the Lok Sabha and at the centre,” affirmed Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis, quoted ANI. The press conference was attended by some of the prominent faces of “big brother” Shiv Sena and BJP which include Shiv Sena chief, Uddhav Thackeray, and son, Aditya Thackeray, Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi, BJP President Amit Shah and CM Devendra Fadnavis. The two parties have a pact of 23 seats to be contested by Shiv Sena while 25 seats by BJP in the upcoming general election totalling the sum to 48 seats in Maharashtra. “The Shiv Sena will fight on 23 seats and the BJP will contest on 25 seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha election,” said CM Fadnavis while addressing the press conference on Monday.
The whole alliance initiative was, reportedly, led by the BJP President, Amit Shah, when he met the Shiv Sena scion, Uddhav Thackeray, at his residence Matoshree. The BJP president expressed confidence on the alliance in marking triumph on 45 seats out of total 48 seats in Maharashtra. “I am confident that in the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP and Shiv Sena will together win 45 out of total 48 seats in Maharashtra,” BJP President, Amit Shah, was quoted as saying by media reports.
While the BJP leaders talked about the benefits of them coming together with Shiv Sena, the latter’s supremo, Uddhav Thackeray, as well acknowledged their initiatives. Thackeray called their brotherhood with BJP for long 30 years and accepted that there were few “confusion” in the last 5 years. “People are seeing the Shiv Sena and the BJP for past 30 years. For 25 years, we stood united, and for 5 years, there was confusion. But like CM said, I still provided guidance to government from time to time,” said Thackeray in the press conference on Monday.
The BJP seems to have “won” back Shiv Sena by negotiating with the latter to remain in National Democratic Alliance (NDA), however, the opposition parties have also united against the former in many states. It will be interesting to see if BJP comes out as powerful as it was in 2014 after the general election concluded. The BJP and Shiv Sena had contested separately in 2014 assembly election in Maharashtra as they couldn’t come to a consensus on their demands. BJP marked it’s triumph on 122 seats while Shiv Sena could only win 63 seats. This number could have ascended had the two jumbo parties of the state decided to ally before the election rather than post the election.