As Shiv Sena and BJP are breaking ties over the government formation in Maharashtra after the 2019 Assembly elections, the 23-year-old long alliance between the saffron parties seems to be permanently damaged. With the ‘n’ number of jibes and sarcastic political comments being passed from one end to the other, the split between the parties was confirmed after BJP leader Chandrakant Patil on Sunday announced that they would not form the government in the state and Shiv Sena can go ahead and stake their claim. Adding to this, the breakup ossified as the Lok Sabha MP from Mumbai South, Arvind Sawant officially resigned from the Cabinet position from the Union Ministry confirming the split at the Centre on Monday.
The saffron parties, with a unified cause of Hindutva, officially aligned and became a part of the BJP-led NDA in 1989 as they contested the Lok Sabha elections together. However, the political cartoonist Balasaheb Thackeray formed the Shiv Sena party back in 1966. In the initial years, the party’s focus was advocating for the Marathi Manus (man), but they eventually broadened their view and they started supporting the Hindutva ideology. They took part in the BMC elections since their inception and officially allied with BJP in 1989. After Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray passed away in 2012, the long-running alliance between the parties broke off for a brief period in 2014. However, they came back together very quickly and stayed together throughout the first term of the Modi government.
During the 2019 assembly elections in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena claimed that they were promised a 50:50 formula in the cabinet. However, the BJP denies promising anything of this sort to the party. In the Assembly elections, BJP won 105 seats, while Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress won 56, 54 and 44 seats respectively. After BJP officially declared that they would not form the government, the governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshiyari invited the second largest party to stake its claim and Shiv Sena had to give an answer to the governor by 7:30 pm on Monday. The only option left with the three remaining parties in Maharashtra is to form the government by supporting each other.
Amid the tension that has been building up in the state, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik while speaking to Republic TV laid down a few demands by his party before entering any sort of post-poll alliance and forming the government with Shiv Sena. He said, “If the Governor is calling Shiv Sena, then it has to first announce that they are not in the NDA. They must part from the Bharatiya Janata Party and give a proposal (to the NCP) on how they want to go ahead. So, until and unless they resign from the Centre, break relation with the BJP and send a proposal to us, no decision can be announced.” Following this, the Shiv Sena MP has officially resigned from the Union Ministry as well.
As the party high command of Shiv Sena and Congress are having discussions over the possibility of an alliance, Republic TV's sources reveal that Congress MLAs currently in Jaipur, have already come up with a set of demands. As per sources, the Congress MLAs will back the Shiv Sena and NCP from outside without joining the alliance. However, they want their MLAs to be a part of the government. Also, they wish to have a deputy Chief Minister from both Congress and NCP. Apart from this, the sources reveal that Congress MLAs also want six cabinet berths from each of the parties.