After 25 years of alliance, the Shiv Sena announced yesterday, 23rd January that they will not ally with the BJP in the upcoming assembly or general elections. Sanjay Raut, the Sena spokesperson, said that BJP had demoralised Shiv Sena and it is important for the party to be independent. Sena President Uddhav Thackeray also urged supporters to not let Modi win in the coming elections.
छाती किती इंचाची हे महत्वाचं नाही, त्यामध्ये किती शौर्य हे अधिक महत्वाचं Uddhav Thackeray #ShivSena— ShivSena - शिवसेना (@ShivSena) January 23, 2018
"This regime thrives only on hollow ad campaigns. It needs to be brought down," Uddhav said at a party conclave. Uddhav’s son Aaditya Thackeray was elevated to the position of ‘neta’ in the same conclave.
The Sena announced that will not form an alliance with any other party and will contest for the elections alone. The party, however, hasn’t withdrawn from the Modi government, as it is still a part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), holding portfolios in both the Central and Maharashtra governments. Sena holds 63 seats in the 288-member state assembly while BJP holds 122.
Shiv Sena and BJP’s alliance was formed in 1989 when Shiv Sena endorsed the Hindutva ideology. Their three-decade-old alliance started deteriorating after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Though, Sena supported BJP in the elections, during the state elections, the party snapped with the latter. Later, they joined the Devendra Fadnavis-led government as BJP's junior partner. During the BMC polls, Sena also severed ties with BJP, where the BJP just got two less seats than Shiv Sena.
"We will expand across the country. Hereafter we will contest every election in every state with Hindutva as our mantra," Uddhav said.