With elections at both national level and also the state-level scheduled to take place in Maharashtra in the coming months, the state's health minister, Deepak Sawant, has tendered his resignation.
Sawant is a legislator belonging to the Shiv Sena and has accordingly submitted his resignation to party supremo Uddhav Thackeray in addition to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The Shiv Sena and BJP (to which Fadnavis belongs) are in an alliance in Maharashtra, as well as at the Centre and in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
As per sources, Sawant resigned because his term as a Maharashtra MLC was ending and Uddhav Thackeray hasn't promised him whether he will be renominated.
Shiv Sena-BJP alliance wrangles are becoming a running theme in the run-up to the elections. The two parties are historic allies and as mentioned above, share power in a host of administrations, but of late, have taken to attacking each other on a range of political issues.
The Shiv Sena has been particularly vocal in its criticism of the BJP, over the Ayodhya issue and a number of others. As per the most recent inputs BJP party president Amit Shah has told his party leaders to be ready to contest solo if need be, though while speaking at the Republic Summit in December, he had stated that deliberations were ongoing with the Sena at his and Devendra Fadnavis' levels, and that he was hopeful that both parties would remain together.
On the other hand, while the BJP and Shiv Sena remain in deadlock, their political rivals, both at the national and local levels, have stolen a march. The NCP and Congress will ally in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and have worked out how they will share 40 of 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state. As per Republic TV's most recent national approval ratings, the Congress-NCP alliance has a real chance of reversing its fortunes as compared to 2014 when it won just six seats all together.