Days after exit polls predicted Maharashtra turning to the BJP, the party’s former ally, the Shiv Sena, is talking nice. Far nicer than it has since the 25-year partnership ended before the election that was held on Wednesday.
An editorial in the Sena’s mouthpiece today said, “There is no need to have arguments or bitterness any more. Hearts have been broken. Though it is difficult to mend broken hearts, Maharashtra needs stability and peace.” Recent editorials have been reserved for cutting comments on the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, so today’s is a marked departure.
Results for the state election in Maharashtra and Haryana will be declared on Sunday.
While some exit polls have shown the BJP will get the most votes, others have said it will get a clear majority. The Sena is expected to place second.
The BJP, which ended the alliance in September, unwilling to continue as junior partner, took a risk that seems to have paid profitably. The Congress and Sharad Pawar’s NCP, which have co-governed Maharashtra for 15 years, will be heavily defeated, show exit polls.
In addition to going its own way, the BJP decided not to declare a presumptive chief minister; instead, it leveraged Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a whopping 27 rallies in the state where he asked voters to support him.
Top leaders of the BJP had said they would be open to a post-election reconciliation with the Sena. Though Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray did not make similar declarations, he did not pull his minister from Mr Modi’s government in Delhi, and other leaders from his party including his son Aditya said “the alliance continues at other levels.”