oppn parties Shiv Sena: Losing Ground Fast

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  • MS Dhoni decides to take a two-month break, will skip West Indies tour but will not retire
  • Phagu Chauhan is the new Governor of Bihar while Ramesh Bais has been appointed as that of Tripura
  • Governors: Anandiben Patel shifted from Madhya Pradesh to Uttar Pradesh and Lalji Tandon from Bihar to Madhya Pradesh
  • Naga talks interlocutor RN Ravi appointed as Governor of Nagaland
  • Noted lawyer Jagdeep Dhankhar appointed as new Governor of West Bengal
  • 84 NDRF teams have been despatched to 23 states to tackle the flood situation
  • Three persons lynched in Bihar after being accused of cattle theft
  • Delhi police seize a consignment of 1500 kgs of heroin and busts a cartel of Afghanistan-Pakistan narcotics dealers with links to the Taliban
  • Supreme Court gives 9 more months to complete the Babri Masjid demolition case trial
  • Priyanka Gandhi not allowed to meet the families of the dead in the Sonabhadra firing, arrested
  • ICC inducts Sachin Tendulkar in [email protected]@@s Hall of Fame
  • Stock markets bleed for the second day. Sensex crashes 560 points
  • S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, says Pakistan should release and repatriate Kulbhushan Jadhav immediately
  • Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala asks the Speaker to hold the trust vote latest by 1.30 pm today
  • The Government sends a list of 24 questions to mobile app company that runs video app TikTok seeking answers for anti-national and obscene content carried on the platform
Former Delhi CM and senior Congress leader Sheila Dikshit dies following a cardiac arrest. She was 81
oppn parties
Shiv Sena: Losing Ground Fast

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The Shiv Sena has announced that it will fight the ensuing BMC elections alone. With this, it has ended a quarter century of electoral alliance with the BJP in Maharashtra. Signals to this effect were coming out of Matoshree for a long time, especially recently when Uddhav took the lead to rubbish demonetization. Narendra Modi has not been Thackeray’s favourite politician. Now, when Modi’s government has gone ahead and given the Padma Vibhushan to NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, the anger has magnified. How can any Marathi leader other than the late Bal Thackeray be considered for such an honour is what the Shiv Sena must be thinking. But in breaking the alliance, is the Sena cutting the nose to spite the face?

For if the alliance has been snapped, it is going to be Shiv Sena’s loss. As it is, the Sena is no longer the force it was once was. From a party driven by a Hindu agenda, it has now become a local party professing to cater to the Marathi constituency. Even there, its agenda is being hijacked by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) of Raj Thackeray. It is a measure of the political awareness of the people of Maharashtra that both these Sena’s are losing ground across the state. Their influence is now increasingly being limited to some pockets. MNS, despite the importance accorded to it by Karan Johar and Devendra Fadnavis in the Ae Dil Hai Mushkil controversy, is already a spent force. Only its ability to cause disruption through unruly cadres remains but that is commonplace now (refer to the Rajput Karni Sena and the attack on Padmavati sets). Shiv Sena, on the other hand, is fast descending into a position where it cannot even hope to play kingmaker, let alone rule.

The BJP has ensured this by giving the Padma award to Pawar. Since it is ruling Maharashtra as the single largest party with inside support from the Sena, it must have had its eyes on the block of MLA’s of Pawar’s NCP in case things went awry with the Sena. The BJP has 122 MLA’s while the halfway mark in the assembly is 145. Sena has 63 with 14 ministers. NCP has 41. Now if the Sena withdraws support, with Pawar mollycoddled, the BJP can always bank on his support to continue ruling the state. At the Centre, the Sena doesn’t count at all. So for all practical purposes, it is the Sena that is going to lose. If the Sena is thinking that its alliance with a dominant partner like the BJP is threatening its existence and if it is feeling the need to chart a new course for itself after all these years, it will find it an extremely difficult task in the absence of charismatic leader like Bal Thackeray.