oppn parties Shiv Sena: Losing Ground Fast

News Snippets

  • SC says it will revisit its definition of 'Hindutva' in the light of growing hate speeches
  • Indigo reduces the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra to three months after an inquiry committee finds that it was a Level 1 offense not meriting a 6-month ban
  • Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral says Delhi Police did not act on his phone call asking them to help 16 people trapped in riot-hit areas
  • AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked for murder and arson, says he is being framed
  • New HC bench allows the Delhi Police plea that the situation is no conducive to the filing of FIRs and also allows the Centre to become a party to the case
  • Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, who was part of the bench that pulled up the Delhi Police for not filing FIRs against BJP leaders for hate speeches, transferred to Punjab HC
  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
oppn parties
Shiv Sena: Losing Ground Fast

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2017-01-28 20:43:54

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.