BJP drifts away from Shiv Sena, towards MNS

BJP drifts away from Shiv Sena, towards MNS

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) recent attempts to woo Raj Thackeray-led Maharastra Navnirman Sena (MNS) ahead of the Lok Sabha polls is an indicator that it is all set to jettison its quarter-century-old ally Shiv Sena (SS) in the state Assembly elections scheduled to be held this year.

This is the first election battlefield that the Sena will be going into without its charismatic leader Bal Thackeray formulating strategies in the war room. The BJP realising that its ally’s future prospects, primarily an urban-centric party, is dismal had started inching towards MNS, a party that makes no bones of its extreme right-wing leanings.

Despite the BJP trying to edge out its ally out of the boat by dropping subtle hints, the two parties have been sailing together uncomfortably for the past two years.

In December, the BJP in its  ‘Mahagarjana Rally’ led by Narendra Modi, ignored the Sena leader even though the rally was held a stone throw away from Uddhav’s house in Bandra-Kurla Complex.

The announcement of LS polls brought out the the simmering anger of Uddhav and the past few weeks have seen him making angry statements against the BJP.

Interestingly, despite acid-laced remonstrations being hurled daily by the Sena, BJP leader Nitin Gadkari went around the town tom-tomming about his meeting MNS leader Raj Thackeray.

Uddhav has demanded answers from the BJP bigwigs in Delhi “as to who is authorised to speak on behalf of the BJP in Maharashtra? And if all this is to gain power then are we to behave like Kejriwal who campaigned against the Congress and then sought support from the same party...so should we assume that this is what the BJP will also do?”

And just a day after news of BJP prime ministerial candidate Modi making a late night call to Uddhav, the party on Thursday again had to lash out at its NDA ally in its mouthpiece Saamna with an admonition: “It is the regional parties that has made it (BJP) what it is today, but to go around forging partnership with political outfits without informing old allies smacks of trust deficit...and if it (BJP) wants power in Delhi then it will have to win the trust of old allies... otherwise people will teach you a lesson.”

Political observers say that the scenario in the Sena after Uddhav took over the party reins changed and the old vanguard that formed a close-knit nucleus found itself marooned on moribund islands.

He replaced the brusque and boorish leaders with swaggering iPad generation; his own genteel style of functioning and conversing also invited criticism from one of the senior most Sena leader Manohar Joshi.

Now, apart from being confident of its own clout in Maharashtra, the BJP wants an ally in Raj who has a style a la Bal Thackeray.

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