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Reasons for Shiv Sena somersault

            Maharashtra politics turned quite interesting. The parties which got mandate from people could not form Government. Then, what for this alliance? Analysts are expecting this break since long time but every time ultimately it patched up. This time, it happened. Politics always bring surprises. What are the root causes for this breakup?

         The first and foremost is existence and status. BJP and Shiv Sena are partners since very long time but shiv Sena was larger partner compared to BJP in Maharashtra. After Bal Thackeray, situation is gradually changed. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP and Shiv Sena contested separately. BJP emerges as big party and that was the start of mistrust . Shiv Sena felt humiliated and also felt that its existence is under threat because of emergence of BJP occupying its Hindutva space. From that time onwards, Shiv Sena developed grudge against BJP and waiting for an opportune time. However swallowing that humiliation joined in the Ministry as junior partner. Before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, they again started criticising Modi on some pretext or other. Everyone watched the developments keenly whether there will be alliance in the elections. Ultimately, their pressure tactics worked. BJP conceded half of Lok Sabha seats to Shiv Sena. In the Assembly elections, Shiv Sena again demanded half of the seats but BJP prevailed over and not conceded half. Shiv Sena felt humiliated but not in a position to contest on its own. They felt that Modi's popularity is in peak after abrogation of Article 370 and his support is very much required for winning the candidates. In that environment, they swallowed the treatment given by BJP. Results were out. BJP unexpectedly performed far below expectations and emerged as single largest party. Shiv Sena wanted now to be more assertive as its support is vital for formation of Government. Now, Shiv Sena wanted to take revenge and demanded equal share in power. 

        Though this is apparent reason, there are certain hidden factors also in this episode. The first one is ' son stroke' . Bal Thackeray since foundation of Shiv Sena decided not to accept any position in power corridors. Though Shiv Sena formed Government earlier two times along with BJP, his nominee became Chief Minister but not himself. Now, Uddhav Thackeray bypassed that rule and wanted his son Aditya Thackeray to be CM. It is this ' son stroke' which is the fundamental reason for breaking the alliance. Like any other regional party, Shiv Sena is now confined to dynasty politics.
       Second hidden factor is maratha identity politics. Last term, Modi made Fadnavis, the non-Maratha Brahmin as Chief Minister. In Maharashtra, Maratha community is powerful community and most of the Chief Ministers are from that community only. Now if BJP is allowed to lead the alliance, again Fadnavis, non- Maratha person will become Chief Minister. That is the reason Maratha pride came into picture. NCP , the brand ambassador of Marathas and Maratha pride is playing active role behind the curtain to see tha Maratha lobby came to limelight again. Shiv Sena is in regular touch with NCP from the day results announced. Now, Congress which is bent upon to break BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is finding this as an opportunity. If alternative Government is formed with Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, the Maratha pride will play major role. It is the major hidden factor. Though Modi tried to break identity politics in Maharashtra, in Indian context it is very difficult to get success.

       Third, NCP is facing several corruption charges. The formation of alternative Government is one hope for such elements to get access to power corridor for influencing these matters. Of course, power is major attraction than any other thing. Hope of tasting power is one last reason to make strange bedfellows coming together.

       Mumbai being the financial capital of India is very important to any political party. Maharashtra's share in GDP is substantial and tax collection is also number one state in the country. Every political party likes to share power in such State. Immediate chances are now for non-BJP parties only but its survival for full term is doubtful. No single party is in commanding position, it will be another Karnataka . Sooner or later, it will fall down. Ultimate victim is State and its people as there will be instability . But it is the choice given by people. We have to wait, no other alternative. 

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