From Saffron Alliance To Name-Calling: Sena And BJP In Maharashtra
The Indian Express Delhi|January 25, 2022
Maharashtra chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday accused the BJP of perfidy and betrayal, and said the Shiv Sena had wasted 25 years in its alliance with the party.
Zeeshan Shaikh & Vishwas Waghmode

The Chief Minister's strong statements betrayed the raw state of the relationship between the once-close saffron allies.

Trajectory of relationship

In the initial years after its founding by Bal Thackeray in 1966, the Shiv Sena fought to ensure reservations in jobs for sons of the soil, and had a flexible need-based relationship with parties including the Congress. It gained from the alliances, even as it opposed these short-term political partners at other times.

The Sena started out championing a hard regional identity, often targeting its nativist politics at migrants in Mumbai. It jumped on to the Hindutva bandwagon in 1989, when it formed an electoral alliance with the BJP, and looked to expand its influence beyond Mumbai to rural Maharashtra.

The relationship was sbenefited both parties. The Sena fed off the BJP's popularity to gain ground in national politics, while the BJP deepened its roots in the state with the help of the Sena. The late Pramod Mahajan worked to keep the relationship going, and the BJP leadership of the time, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani, had no qualms in pandering to the demands of the Sena.

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