The architect of Shiv Sena-BJP coalition in Maharashtra – late Pramod Mahajan would not only bow down under the pressure of late Bal Thackeray but also make the party’s top leaders succumb under former Shiv Sena supremo’s stature.

After Mahajan’s unfortunate death in 2006, his line of thought was also carried forward by his brother-in-law and one of tallest BJP leaders in Maharashtra Gopinath Munde.

Former BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who is deemed close to RSS, has always been a staunch opponent of such an attitude.

In fact, a faction of BJP leaders close to the Sangh is of the opinion that since the time when both the parties in Maharashtra decided to join hands, few saffron party leaders in the state have always been giving more than required importance to the Thackeray-ruled party.

This is the major reason why Shiv Sena, which has mostly played the role of ‘big brother’ in the coalition, won two more seats than BJP in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

However, in the 2014 general elections, the saffron party managed to outshine Shiv Sena in the state by winning 23 seats.

It is important to note that till 1990, all the Shiv Sena candidates were deemed as Independents in the Election Commission (EC) record. On the other hand, the BJP has always fought as a national party in Maharashtra elections.  

In the assembly elections in the state right after the BJP’s inception in 1980 (new form of Jan Sangh), the party had contested on 145 seats. In those elections, the saffron outfit had managed to win 14 seats with 9.38 percent vote share.

A faction in the party believes that after the Ram Janambhoomi Movement began in 1985, had the Shiv Sena been allocated required seats as per stature, the coalition government in 1995 would have been under leadership of BJP and the party would have been expanded in the state. Now, the BJP under leadership of Amit Shah seems to be rectifying the earlier mistakes.

Now the BJP is desperately trying to reduce Shiv Sena’s greater stature in the coalition by allying with other political satraps in the state.

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