Shiv Sena to go it solo in 2019

The Shiv Sena, BJP’s oldest and for at least 25 years its sturdiest ally, announced that it would go solo for the 2019 Lok Sabha and Maharashtra assembly elections. While the Sena’s newly constituted national executive passed a resolution to this effect, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray urged Indians to pull down the Narendra Modi government in the next polls.

“This regime thrives only on hollow ad campaigns. It needs to be brought down,” Uddhav said at a party conclave that saw his son Aaditya (28) being elevated to the status of a ‘neta’ in the Sena.

Though Sena is not withdrawing from the Modi government or the BJP-led state government as of now, its stand, and especially Uddhav’s call to defeat the Modi regime, is certain to worsen Sena-BJP ties, rocky since mid-2014, and raise doubts over the Sena’s role in the BJP-led NDA at the Centre.

Though the allies fought the 2014 LS polls unitedly, Matoshree snapped ties with BJP for the October 2014 state elections, only to later join the Devendra Fadnavis-led government as BJP’s junior partner. The tie-up came apart again for the 2017 Mumbai civic polls where BJP fell just 2 seats short of the Sena tally.

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