Photo: PTI
Photo: PTI

Opinion | Plenty of love lost

The Shiv Sena was once the bigger partner in the alliance in Maharashtra. But the equation has turned in recent years, with the BJP emerging stronger

With new differences between old allies popping up every now and then in Maharashtra, it’s hard not to wonder if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena would be able to provide a stable coalition government. The current point of friction between them is over the chief minister’s post. The Sena wants a rotational arrangement, where leaders of both parties occupy the position for half the assembly’s term each. The BJP wants to keep the state’s leadership all through. For a pre-poll alliance, this is a strange tussle to have after the votes have been counted.

There are other points of divergence too—over the Ram temple issue and the economy, for instance. The Sena’s criticism, however, may have more to do with its diminished role in the state than an actual difference of opinion. The Sena was once the bigger partner in the alliance. But the equation has turned in recent years, with the BJP emerging stronger. This seems to have complicated what began as a smooth relationship. Yet, it could mean an internally-divided government, which would be bad for governance. The bickering needs to subside for such worries to be put to rest.

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