Bharat Bandh turned out to be a complete fiasco for the opposition parties. Their attempt to gather public support against the BJP ahead of 2019 general elections failed mainly because of two reasons. First, people refused to extend any kind of support to the stupidity of opposition parties’. Second, whatever the support they managed to get, have gone in vain because of the violence and hooliganism unleashed by the supporters of the Bharat Bandh. Common folks were the ultimate sufferers of this Bharat Bandh madness and these are the very same people who would be casting their votes in 2019 general elections. Visuals of violence by Congress supporters will come to haunt the party during 2019 elections. It would be no exaggeration to say that the Congress party scored a self-goal by calling for Bharat Bandh and also exposed its incompetency to gather the entire opposition parties against the BJP. There were many opposition parties who were absent from this publicity stunt of the Congress. But the most striking thing to note was the absence of BJP’s frenemy- Shiv Sena- during the Bharat Bandh. The Congress party has shown incredible laziness to bring Shiv Sena into its fold. In recent times, Shiv Sena has vehemently attacked Modi government on the issue of rising prices of petrol and diesel. It even put up posters across the Mumbai with the tagline: “Yehi hai acche din? (Are these good days?)”. But the Shiv Sena did support yesterday’s Bharat Bandh which was basically called against the rising fuel prices.
According to a Mumbai Mirror report, a call from Amit Shah made all the difference and the Shiv Sena decided to stay away from the Bandh. A Shiv Sena leader said, “There was a call from Amit Shah. CM Devendra Fadnavis had also called up. We have decided not to support the bandh openly. We are protesting against rising fuel prices on our own and are more vocal against the BJP government’s policies than any other party. We don’t need to back a bandh called to protest against the government.”
It’s not the first time that Shiv Sena has showed a pacifist attitude towards the BJP despite being a vocal critic. Earlier in the Rajya Sabha Chairman elections, Shiv Sena extended its support to NDA’s candidate and before that during the no-confidence motion episode, it staged a walkout which was nothing less than providing tacit support to the BJP.
It looks like Uddhav Thackeray has finally realized that for the party’s survival, he has to leave his ego behind and make some changes. Under the questionable leadership of Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena has suffered a huge debacle. Modi-Shah duo’s smart politics first reduced him to play second fiddle in the alliance, and now Fadnavis’ political acumen is pushing him to oblivion.
It seems that ground realities are now showing a clear picture as a result of this Uddhav Thackeray has finally begun to start understanding the electoral arithmetic. If Shiv Sena decides to go alone in 2019 General elections without the BJP then it will have to face defeat. Shiv Sena would end up losing all political power and relevance. On the other hand, the BJP might still sail through though its winning margins won’t be monumental. In fact, according to media reports, the BJP president Amit Shah has asked its Maharashtra leaders to prepare a blueprint to fight for all the 48 seats in the state alone. After the Maharashtra state assembly elections, the BJP contested many elections without Shiv Sena and it has delivered splendid performance in all those elections. All these recent political maneuvers displayed by the Shiv Sena are result of their fresh awakening. Shiv Sena has understood that without the support of the BJP, it is nothing.