Why Shiv Sena is about to jump off an electoral cliff

Folks, I just remembered. Shiv Sena is supposed to be an ally. I just thought I would say that because laughter is supposed to be a really good thing.


If there is one party of sore losers that has been nipping at BJP’s heels for a while, it’s the Shiv Sena. But RW generally choose to laugh off the Shiv Sena and roll their eyes each time the Sena starts bawling like a kid throwing a tantrum in the desserts aisle at the supermarket. Nevertheless, I thought I would just collect a few thoughts here about the Sena, partly to gloat and perhaps…maybe…if there is some Sena man with half an iota of common sense reading this…to tell them that they are about to jump off a cliff. After all they are still technically an ally and I have some respect for Balasaheb Thackeray…

So, who was that? Was it Sanjay Raut the other day who said Modi rule is worse than the Nizam? I don’t know about that, but  if Shiv Sena doesn’t want to be worse off than CPIM in a few years, they better listen and stop working on whatever “plan” they think they are working on…

You know, Shiv Sena…in our democracy, incumbent governments get thrown out all the time. Voters get angry and kick out one party, fall in love with another and then five years later, they suddenly are back in love with the previous one…happens all the time. No biggie. But you know who gets genuinely punished by the voters? You know who gets squeezed out of the electoral system altogether?

Parties like YOU. Like Shiv Sena, who are enjoying in power AND still bellyaching about it. Because you are enjoying power, the public gives you no points for anti-incumbency. And because you keep bellyaching about the ruling party, the public gives you no points for achievements of the government. You simply become the negative, non-constructive force, a drag on our resources and a drain on our patience. People stop giving a damn about you, they roll their eyes and laugh derisively. In the next election, they forget about you.

The *best* example of this would be the CPIM and UPA-I. The CPIM contributed nothing to that government except unending negativity. And so when India gave a pro-incumbency verdict in 2009, the CPIM found itself nowhere in the picture. It was neither seen as ruling nor in the opposition. It was forgotten.

I must mention here that I believe Amit Shah’s Maharashtra gambit is one of his magnificent, definitely at par with his 73/80 innings in UP. Snapping a decades old alliance with Shiv Sena barely 3 weeks before the election in a mammoth state like Maharashtra is no joke. When ties were snapped, there were less than 3 full days for candidates to file nominations. Such was the confusion that the Sakal Times (actually a fairly reputable publication) reported that BJP had failed to file nominations for some 3 dozen seats! Yes, the BJP fell 19 seats short in Maharashtra playing such a risky innings, but it flipped a decades old alliance on its head in just a month. Overnight BJP went from No. 4 to No. 1 in Maharashtra, from junior partner of Sena to winning twice as many seats as the Sena! The BJP won 123 seats, whereas for the last two decades the BJP had been allowed to contest just 117 seats under the alliance formula! Add to this the fact that Maharashtra has always been a core Congress state (until 2014, Congress had ruled Maharashtra for all but 4 years since independence…this probably makes Maharashtra the state that has spent max number of years under Congress). Consider the size of the state and the blow that it struck to the Congress…don’t forget that Maharashtra is a big moneybag state! Amit Shah’s Maharashtra flip might be BJP’s single biggest achievement of this decade….Maharashtra is bigger than Karnataka, so this eclipses the 2008 victory there.

So, let me sketch a simple picture for what is going to happen to the Shiv Sena. It is going to spend 5 years kicking and screaming and irritating everyone, but still enjoying the red beacon cars. One special feature of Maharashtra is that the poll happens within 4-5 months of the Lok Sabha election, thus giving a huge advantage to the ruling party at the Center. This is the main reason the Congress managed to hold power in Maharashtra in 2004 and 2009, despite the truly pathetic performance of the state government. Okay, what happens to Maharashtra if Modi loses in 2019? First of all, it won’t happen. Secondly, if it does happen, Congress will win back Maharashtra and BJP would be the main opposition. What will be left for Shiv Sena to do?

Now on to the more likely scenario. There will be LS polls in 2019, which I believe BJP is going to win. And Modi-II will be in no mood to offer the Sena an alliance in the state assembly polls, that too so soon after a Lok Sabha win. Suffice to say that in 2019 the BJP will be much better prepared than in 2014…and it wont fall short of 19 seats. It won’t need the Sena any more. Neither will the opposition.

Where does that leave the Shiv Sena? In the dustbin. Fortunately, it belongs there…

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30 thoughts on “Why Shiv Sena is about to jump off an electoral cliff

  1. BJD is more pro-BJP than the so called “ally” Shiv Sena.BJP and BJD used to be allies till 2009.I hope BJD becomes a part of NDA again.21/21 guaranteed LS seats in 2019 for NDA if that happens.BJD doesn’t indulge in much nonsense unlike other regional parties and they are actually pro-Hindu to an extent.Not to mention,I like Jay Panda a lot.Swapan Dasgupta is supposedly a good friend of Naveen Patnaik.Hope BJP and BJD stitch up an alliance.BJP can then dump SS if they continue to spew their nonsense.


    1. Yes, BJD and ADMK are the two parties BJP should be looking towards. BJD generally minds its own business and Jayalalitha has generally kept the conversion mafia at bay. I dont think padres were invited to her swearing in.


      1. Jayalalitha was also one of the very few Chief Ministers to attend Modi’s swearing in ceremony during December 2012. She and NaMo have a good equation. She would be a “mature” partner like Naidu, and unlike Mamata Banerjee for example, even assuming that she would want to join.


  2. By the way,since you are leaving tomorrow,I want you to write one more post before you leave that explains in detail the coping mechanisms that one can adopt to tackle the symptoms that arise due to not being able to read a good blog for a few days.Happy journey!


    1. Ha ha…maybe I should write a post on how much I will miss blogging. Nowadays it is hard for me not to blog and interact with all of you out there. Will be back soon 🙂


  3. Gr8 Chaiwala. I would say, the biggest loser of maharashtra election was Udhdhav. Before alliance broke, he was the favorite choice of CM, since winning chances of Shiv sena-BJP were high. He would have become CM, if alliance was not called off. However, because of his childish behavior , he lost chances, and BJP won the elections. I was hoping BJP may be able to win without them, however, BJP fell short of majority by some seats and they have to take support of this joker.
    I was expecting SS will be forgotten by 2019 elections, and came to your last paragraph, which further strengthened my thoughts. As you said SS is the biggest drag. Somebody rightly said, BJP at center and at Maharashtra does not need oppositions, since they already have in the form of AJ at center and SS in Maharashtra. But its good that, alliance was broken. Otherwise Uddhav as a CM would have become joke by this time. SS during balasaheb was much different. I am also seeing possibility that, good leaders may join BJP from SS. Good leader I mean, who are matured, like Suresh Prabhu already joined BJP from SS.


    1. Yes, for a long time Sena had become weaker than BJP. But the unnatural arrangement continued, with the bigger party playing little brother to the smaller party. This kind of arrangement was simply not tenable. Amit Shah offered them a face saver before the election: go 50:50 with the BJP and CM post goes to whoever wins the most seats. Uddhav knew 100% for certain that BJP would win more seats; BJP’s strike rate has always been more than Sena. He chose to be a narrow minded loser and snapped the alliance and that’s exactly how the whole of Maharashtra is seeing him now…

      Oh…and if Sena tries to pull out before 2019….LOL! All its MLAs will immediately jump ship and join BJP. The Sena’s MLAs have won power after 15 years in the cold; they wont lose their power simply to feed the ego of the Thackeray clan.


  4. I am hoping to know peoples opinion on the Hindu exodus in Kairana.As Indian Citizens they have every right to live there but from a more practical view is it really safe for them?


    1. I always planned to write a really long post on Kairana and that’s why it got pushed further and further along. And now I am leaving tomorrow and there’s no time to get it done. But I am sure we haven’t heard the last of the Kairana incident. More is coming.


  5. Excellent, nobody would warn SS like this. If these Thakerays have some sense, they will mend their ways and go along with ruling BJP. Or else, they will end up in dust bin, where they belong to.


    1. Hi Mehul,
      Thanks a lot! Will put up one post tomorrow and then I will disappear until July 3. I guess I will miss blogging for these 2 weeks.. these days I feel uneasy unless I have written my post for the day 🙂


  6. Sorry CW, I never had much respect for SS, even during Balasaheb days. Initially he was rabidly anti Madrasis. Then became anti muslims. Raj Thackery fine tuned his strategy and became anti non-Maharshtrians. This does not augur well for unity of India.


    1. That’s why I just said “some respect”, not a whole lot. Indeed, Balasaheb started his career publishing lists of “Madrasis” in the newspapers who he accused of “stealing jobs” in Mumbai (Bombay). They are still stuck doing that kind of politics even today…last year their target was peaceful Jains….of all people! Balasaheb was mostly stuck in petty politics of regionalism…Nevertheless, he did help out with some Hindu causes. But I think we can all agree that there is no space for regionalism and casteism in today’s India. Which means no space for Shiv Sena. They can go to hell…


  7. If anything drowns the ship of Shiv Sena, it would be the ego of Uddhav Thakre. I remember when Shiv Sena goons ransacking shops and beating shop owners and the customers during Valentine Day period, the voters punished SS in next election. Balasaheb put stop on SS protestation of Valentine Day celebration. So Balasaheb swallowed his pride and learned from the fiasco. But Uddhav (so is Raj with as big if not bigger ego) could not let go of his ego. He will destroy SS. I would say sooner the better. No more “Aamchi Mumbai”.


    1. More than ego, it is the blank stupidity of Uddhav. In politics as in diplomacy, one should not try to play when one doesn’t have the cards. Sena simply doesn’t have the cards. If they want to hold on to whatever little they have, they must accept and make peace with the new realities.


  8. I have an idea! While you are gone, we commentators continue to comment on your last blog titled something like Bloggers blog. We bring any discussion paste some links and wait like Bharat waiting for elder brother but younger in age.


  9. I do not think that doing something for India, does not help Hindutva. But the change has to begin with us. Let unity and respect for all hindus (irrespective of castes) be our motto. Let us make our children learn more about Hinduism, its slokas, manthras etc. Let us spread the books of Rajiv Malhotra. Hinduism is one dharma that respects (not tolerates) all paths.


  10. Agree that shiv sena is playing a spoilsport in MAH govt, but i expected real reasons & fact based analysis from Chaiwallah.

    The real reason Uddhav Tharkrey was irked because BJP imported atleast 20-25 MLA candidates from NCP before breaking alliance.

    Amit Shah also kept Shiv Sena busy in debating around strongholds of sena seats while silently made deal with NCP leader Sharad Pawar & ensured that NCP exports candidates to BJP in seats where shiv sena is strong.
    Even now, visits of BJP leades be in Modi, Jetley to Baramati, home place of utmost corrupt NCP leader Sharad Pawar is really a pathetic level of politics played by BJP to irk Shiv Sena. On the top of this, local BJP leaders like Khadse resigned on corruption charges whereas Tawde, Pankaja Munde are clearly in rebellion mode.

    Remember BJP could win 40+ LS seats from Maharashtra only because of pre poll alliance with Shiv Sena, repeating this feat in 2019 won’t be easy as Congress & NCP each commands 17% vote share in MAH, whereas BJP is at 25% & Shiv Sena at 20%.

    “Shat Pratishad” or 100% BJP strategy of Amit Shah from Municipal to State & also at country level elections will not really help BJP in long run.


    1. Friend, I thought I would answer your comment here, but I think the reply should be a post in itself. I am going to post a full reply to you in my blog this Monday. Cheers!


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