Mumbai, September 20: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Friday announced that the seat sharing talk with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly Elections have taken place in a "systematic" manner. The Shiv Sena chief also expressed confidence about the outcome of the talks and said that the decision on seat sharing should come within "a day or two." The Shiv Sena is insistent on fighting 135 seats out of the 288 seat assembly house, said reports. "This formula was decided earlier by BJP President Amit Shah and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. We are firm on that formula. The announcement of the alliance will be made soon," Thackeray told the media. Maharashtra Assembly Elections 2019: Shiv Sena Firm on Contesting 135 Seats.
Though an alliance between the BJP-Shiv Sena looks like a certainty, the close to three decade partnership between the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been a roller-coaster ride and has its share of drama over the years. The Shiv Sena, from being the big brother in the coalition during the Bal Thackeray years, has had to be confined to the role of a junior partner post Thackeray’s death in 2012. Maharashtra Assembly Elections 2019: Shiv Sena-BJP Alliance Could Break if Sena Not Given Equal Seats to Contest, Says Sanjay Raut.
Here’s a Brief Look at the Shiv Sena-BJP Alliance Over the Years
The first time that the Shiv Sena and BJP came together was in 1984 when former chief minister and senior Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi contested the Lok Sabha polls under the lotus symbol of the BJP. He lost the elections.
However, the official BJP-Shiv Sena alliance known as Yuti (combine) was formed in the year 1989, 25 years ago. The alliance is largely attributed to the late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan and Bal Thackeray’s close bond.
The Shiv Sena contested on 183 seats out of the 288 in the state and the rest went to the BJP. The alliance managed to grab power in Maharashtra in 1995 post the riots and the bomb-blasts in Mumbai, which was a tumultuous time in the city. Manohar Joshi of Shiv Sena became the first chief minister and Gopinath Munde of BJP the first deputy chief minister.
However, differences in the alliance emerged in 1990 as well as after coming to power. In 1999, when the BJP was in power in the Centre and Shiv Sena part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, relations soured on the issue of Pakistan cricket team’s tour to India.
The Yuti lost 2004 Maharashtra assembly elections as the Congress-NCP combine registered a victory. The Shiv Sena-BJP alliance lost the 2009 assembly elections as well, credited largely to the emergence of Raj Thackeray led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).
After staying out of power for 10 years, the Shiv Sena and BJP sparred over seat sharing before the 2014 assembly elections. Shiv Sena announced that it would contest the election on its own and the Yuti was broken as BJP and Shiv Sena contested the elections separately.
The BJP and allies won 122+1 seats out of the 288 seats to emerge as the largest party. The Shiv Sena won 63 seats. Congress won 42 and Sharad Pawar led NCP 41. The AIMIM won two seats too. Devendra Fadnavis was made the chief minister after NCP extended support and the BJP formed the government. However, Shiv Sena continued to be a part of the BJP led NDA at the Centre.