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Giriraj Singh shares throwback photo as Shiv Sena splits from BJP again

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Mumbai, Nov 11: Amid a claim by Shiv Sena that the NCP and Congress have agreed "in-principle" to support its government without the BJP in Maharashtra, Union Minister Giriraj Singh posted a throwback picture of Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray with the BJP's LK Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, indicating the long road travelled by the estranged ally in Maharashtra.

Image tweeted by Giriraj Singh

"Bala Saheb's years of penance gave Sanatanis (traditionalists) hope and recognition in Maharashtra. Today, Bala Saheb would be pained to see (the party) go with opponents of Hindutva. History will give testomony to how Bala Saheb united everyone, while others divided," he tweeted in Hindi.

The BJP lost its oldest and the only major Hindutva ally as the Shiv Sena, its partner for more than three decades, walked out of the Modi government at the Centre.

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The decision of the Maharashtra party to snap ties came following years of unease in the alliance and reached a flash point after the recent assembly election results, with the Sena accusing the BJP of breaking "promise" of equal division of power in the state.

The BJP has asserted that it had never agreed to share the post of chief minister, as claimed by Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.

The divorce between the two parties wedded to the Hindutva ideology finally happened after an acrimonious relationship over the last five years. The first strains in their ties surfaced in the 2014 assembly polls when they fought separately after the Sena's refusal to part with the number of seats the BJP wanted.

The Sena was forced to become the junior partner as the BJP won 122 seats in the 288-member assembly while it won 63.

They joined hands to form the government, with the BJP's Devendra Fadnavis becoming the chief minister. The first and only saffron government in the state earlier between 1995-2000 was headed by Sena leaders.

The BJP in the last few years lost a major ally like TDP but also gained a big regional partner like AIADMK and several smaller allies in northeastern states.

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