BJP-Shiv Sena tussle over ‘power play’: Who will blink first?

Analysts see the situation in Maharashtra as nothing more than pressure tactics and arm-twisting each other. Sena is seen punching above its weight while the BJP is silently bearing with its tantrums.

Written by October 30, 2019 19:13

In the Maharashtra Assembly elections 2019, both the alliance partners BJP and Shiv Sena witnessed decline in their seats (compared to 2014) but that hasn’t deterred them from political posturing and grandstanding.

Shiv Sena, apparently the oldest ally of BJP, has been snapping at the latter and putting pressure on it to give CM chair to Aditya Thackeray. Despite BJP having 105 and Sena 56 seats, the latter saffron partner is angling for 50:50% partnership in governance which means equal share in ministerial berths as well as chief ministership on rotational basis.

The warring saffron allies have shown no signs of letting up with verbal spat being played out in the open. Sena has been taking digs at central BJP leadership, targeting Maha BJP via its spokespersons and mouthpiece Saamna while the latter plays wait and watch. Recently, both parties met the Governor separately sparking off rumours of political realignment in the state.

Analysts see the situation in Maharashtra as nothing more than pressure tactics and arm-twisting each other. Sena is seen punching above its weight while the BJP is silently bearing with its tantrums. Question arises – which alliance partner will blink first?

In current scenario, Devendra Fadnavis is unlikely to concede the chief minister post to Shiv Sena. Uddhav Thackeray may be bargaining hard but it wouldn’t like to snap ties over CM post demand. By pressing for rotational chief minister, it may be trying to get lion’s share in the government but lastly, it’s the numbers that will decide the cabinet structure.

2019 elections have for once and all settled the much argued question as to who is the Big Brother in the alliance. BJP, with almost double seats than Sena, will decide the contours of government and the latter will have to willingly or unwillingly come on board. Reports also suggest that Fadnavis is likely to take oath on Friday with or without Sena support. It is assumed that after all the rhetoric and power play, the Sena will eventually support Fadnavis-led government.

Another reason why Sena wouldn’t mind giving up CM post to BJP – is because such step is fraught with huge risk. Aditya Thackeray, being a novice politician, would find it hugely difficult to cope up with thrill and pressure of power corridors while other party veterans would strongly object to playing second fiddle to 3rd generation Thackeray.

Shiv Sena MLAs to meet FadnavisAlso, one hears from sources that Sena, if its demands are not met, will push for a change in chief minister by the BJP as Fadnavis image has adversely impacted Sena’s stature in the state. But, will BJP give any concessions to Sena on this count, will the BJP buy peace with the latter at such price?

Amid all speculations, latest report suggests that Fadnavis will take oath as Maharashtra CM for 2nd time and Sena will extend support. In Fadnavi’s words, there is no Plan B for party. There is only Plan A i.e. BJP-Sena alliance and that will work.