This development has left the Shiv Sena, which has been seeking votes on name of great Maratha warrior, fuming. For the last 17 years, king chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj has been synonymous with the party and it has been wooing Maratha voters on his name.
In fact, Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray never missed an opportunity to remind the people of Maharashtra that the party derives its name from the warrior king.
BJP hijacking Sena's idol, Shivaji?
In a run up to the State Assembly polls, the BJP is attempting to hijack Shivaji. The party's slogan reads, 'Shivchhatrapati ka ashirwad, chalo chale Modi ke saath (With the blessings of Chhatrapati Shivaji, let's all support Modi)'. The party may not have ventured too close to the Maratha king before snapping its ties with Shiv Sena but now it is not leaving any stone unturned to include Shivaji in its poll campaign. Mostly all its campaign posters and rallies carries Shivaji's name.
Recently, when PM Modi began his campaign trail on Saturday, he first ceremoniously garlanded a large bust of Shivaji on the dais and then opened his speech by greeting "this holy land of Shiv Chhatrapati".
Not only this, the party also using popular slogan 'Jai Bhavani, Jai Shivaji' which till now was used by Shiv Sainiks.
Rahul too tried to invoke Shivaji's legacy
Closely following BJP's footstep, the Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi too tried to invoke legacy of the great Maratha king. He in fact began his campaigning from Mahad, home to Raigad fort, capital of Shivaji's empire and before starting his rally he paid floral tribute to Shivaji.
The Shiv Sena which for the long time has been using Shivaji's name to woo marathi voters is fuming over the development. The party is accusing the BJP of using Shivaji's name for electoral gains. Sena's spokesperson said that the BJP never celebrated Shiv Jayanti, the birth anniversary of the warrior king, but now it is incorporating his name everywhere just to woo voters.