With the ongoing political tussle over government formation in Maharashtra, and Shiv Sena approaching the Congress party and the Nationalist Congress Party for support to form government in the state, it appears that Sena has moved away from the ideologies of its late patriarch Balasaheb Thackeray who had once compared Congress with a disease. The Shiv Sena Supremo on not one but many occasions had lashed out at the Congress Party.
While criticising the sheer presence of Sonia Gandhi into politics, Bal Thackeray had stated that it will be a better idea to hand back the country to the British rather than Sonia Gandhi ruling the country. “'I would prefer handing back power to the British, who have at least experience of ruling the country for 150 years”
While giving out a video message in November 2012, Bal Thackeray had called the then State government headed by CM Prithviraj Chavan and Central Government headed by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a 'Cancer'. He said, “Overthrow the Congress governments in the state and at the Centre, which are a ‘cancer’.”
During the 2012 2G Spectrum Scam, the Sena Supremo had taken to Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna and had criticised Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for staying mum over the 2G spectrum scam. In the November 2012 edition of Saamna, attacking Rahul Gandhi, Balasaheb had said, “The Yuvraj of Congress (Rahul Gandhi) is very vocal on the corruption by Mayawati. However, he is not saying anything about the corruption by his government.” He also further attacked Sonia Gandhi for keeping mum. “His mummy (Sonia Gandhi) is also quiet on the issue. The Prime Minister is also not opening his mouth. The truth is hidden in the silence,” he said
Unlike his differences with the Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi, Thackeray maintained very close relations with NCP chief Sharad Pawar. Even though the Nationalist Congress Party and Shiv Sena had different political ideologies, both the leaders never took it personally. Both the leaders came together for the first time during the 1982 textile workers’ strike. Both Pawar and Balasaheb came together against the trade union leader Datta Samant in an attempt to stop the workers from partaking in the strike.
The very first public spat between the two was initiated by Chhagan Bhujbal, who was then associated with the Shiv Sena. He had named Pawar, Congress Chief Minister at that time, publicly in an alleged plot scam. He alone launched a full-fledged campaign against Sharad Pawar.
In the year 1995, before the assembly elections, Thackeray formed a team with BJP leader Gopinath Munde and Sena leader Manohar Joshi.
The trio had together launched a statewide campaign against Sharad Pawar and the Congress government. The campaign hit Pawar and the Congress government badly when the Shiv Sena and BJP alliance won 138 seats in the Assembly polls, post which Sharad Pawar was overthrown as the Chief Minister and was replaced by Manohar Joshi of the Shiv Sena.