Former Maharashtra minister Eknath Shinde revolted against Uddhav Thackeray on the night of 20 June and made two tweets simultaneously at 8:11 pm on 22. He wrote- In the last two and a half years, the MVA government only benefited the constituent parties and Shiv Sainiks suffered huge losses. For the survival of the party and Shiv Sainiks, it is necessary to get out of this mismatched alliance.
Shinde and his fellow MLAs termed this argument as the biggest reason for the rebellion. Rebel Shiv Sena MLA Deepak Kesarkar said in an open letter to Uddhav Thackeray on June 27 that the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance will take Maharashtra to great heights.
So is the alliance between Shiv Sena and BJP really natural? If we looked at the data from the beginning of the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance till now, then the equation sat completely opposite. In the last 33 years, the BJP has gone from 42 to 106 seats, while the Shiv Sena has come down from a maximum of 73 to 56 seats. That is, in Maharashtra, BJP increased by 152% while Shiv Sena decreased by 24%.
Let us examine the BJP-Shiv Sena friendship and pros and cons in Bhaskar Explainer…
BJP became an ally of Shiv Sena 33 years ago
The alliance between BJP and Shiv Sena was formed 33 years ago in 1989 amid the Hindutva wave. However, the association of Shiv Sena with BJP started in 1984 itself. At that time, two leaders including Manohar Joshi of Shiv Sena had contested the Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai on the symbol of BJP, but lost.
Pramod Mahajan was the brain behind the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance. He used to be the General Secretary of BJP at that time and had a very good relationship with Bal Thackeray. The BJP was expanding the party across the country at that time and needed a regional force in Maharashtra. In such a situation, Shiv Sena was the best option for the BJP, because the ideologies of both the parties were very similar.
1990: 52 seats for Shiv Sena, 42 seats in BJP’s account
During the time of Balasaheb, Shiv Sena always remained in the role of elder brother in the politics of Maharashtra. For this reason, it was decided at the time of formation of the alliance that BJP would contest more seats in the Lok Sabha elections, while Shiv Sena would get more seats in the assembly elections.
In the 1990 assembly elections, the Shiv Sena contested 183 out of a total of 288 seats. Whereas BJP fielded candidates on 104 seats. In that election Shiv Sena won 52 seats and BJP 42 seats. Shiv Sena’s Manohar Joshi became the Leader of the Opposition.
1995: For the first time, the government of Shiv Sena-BJP coalition was formed.
In 1995, BJP-Shiv Sena again contested the elections. The wave of Hindutva was at its peak due to the Ram Mandir movement. Both got the advantage in the election. Shiv Sena won 73 seats, while BJP managed to win 65 seats.
Then Balasaheb Thackeray gave the formula that the party which will have more seats, the Chief Minister will be his. On this basis, Manohar Joshi of Shiv Sena got the chair of CM and Gopinath Munde of BJP became Deputy CM. However, this formula later became the root of the dispute between the two parties.
1999: 20 seats short of the magic figure of majority
Shiv Sena and BJP also fought the 1999 elections together. Shiv Sena remained in a big role even at that time. Shiv Sena won 69 seats and BJP 56 seats. However, the coalition had only 125 seats, 20 less than the majority figure of 145.
Shiv Sena felt that the remaining seats would be juggled for the majority, but BJP did not show much interest. It is said that at that time BJP’s Gopinath Munde was seeking the post of CM. The talks between BJP-Shiv Sena went on for 23 days, but no way out. In the end, NCP and Congress formed the government together.
2004: After the rebellion in Shiv Sena, BJP asked for the post of Leader of the Opposition
Despite the tug of war for the post of CM in 1999, Shiv Sena and BJP fought the assembly elections together in 2004 as well. Shiv Sena won 62 seats and BJP 54 seats in this election. Once again, Shiv Sena got the post of Leader of Opposition due to winning more seats. However, when Narayan Rane moved to the Congress in 2005 with around a dozen MLAs, the BJP claimed the post of Leader of Opposition from Shiv Sena, but Shiv Sena rejected it.
2009: BJP overtakes Shiv Sena for the first time in 20 years
In 2009, for the second time in a row, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance had to face defeat in the assembly elections, but the BJP managed to overtake the Shiv Sena for the first time. BJP won 46 seats and Shiv Sena 45 during this period. During this, BJP got the post of Leader of the Opposition.
2014: 25 year old alliance broken, Fadnavis becomes CM
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the enthusiasm of the BJP was at its peak due to the Modi wave. In such a situation, BJP demanded more seats than Shiv Sena in the Maharashtra assembly elections. Consensus was not reached and the 25-year-old alliance broke up. At the same time, NCP and Congress also could not form an alliance in this election.
The BJP got the advantage of contesting the elections alone and it won 122 seats. Whereas Shiv Sena could win only 63 seats despite contesting on all the seats. During this BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis became the CM. However, after sitting in the opposition for a few days, Shiv Sena joined the government and got 12 ministerial posts. Just from here Shiv Sena came in the role of younger brother from elder brother.