MUMBAI: The BJP’s changed attitude towards the Shiv Sena is an outcome of its pragmatic stance which has prevailed over an emotional quotient it shared with its oldest ally for almost 29 years.
The saffron party believes that it should treat the Sena like a business partner and not as a companion.
BJP leaders have demanded to snap ties with the Sena to enable the party to come out of its shadow. The BJP has been playing second fiddle in the alliance since its inception in 1986. The new generation of BJP leaders are not willing to continue the same role in the changed circumstances.
The BJP leaders believe that the party should not carry the “burden of emotions” attached with the alliance.
“The personal equations among Balasaheb (Thackeray), Pramod Mahajan and Gopinath Munde kept the two parties united for a long time. After their demise, the emotional attachment is over. We should be pragmatic and think on what we will get if the alliance continues,” a senior BJP leader said.
Munde was the last bridge between the partners. “At many time Mundeji swallowed his insult at the Sena leaders’ hands and told us to remain calm. Now, no one is willing to give the Shiv Sena the lead role,” the leader said.
A common complaint that the Sena treated them like labourers and never respected their hard work has made the BJP workers sulking. Late Munde’s daughter Pankaja too had complained at a meeting in June that the Sena workers kept themselves aloof from Munde’s campaign in Beed during the recently held Lok Sabha election. The “encouraging” statistics revealed after the Lok Sabha results have boosted the BJP’s confidence.
The party has secured maximum 1.32 crore votes in Maharashtra which is 98 per cent more than the last election. At the same time the Sena’s votes rose by 60 per cent.
Going by this record, the BJP can win 132 seats in the Assembly leaving the Sena behind at 107.
Senior BJP leader Vinod Tawde said the party got 10 per cent additional votes in the Lok Sabha election. “These votes are purely of the BJP.” Tawde added.