BJP loses its oldest ally Shiv Sena

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.

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.

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the BJP to an unprecedented win in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, it sensed an opening in Maharashtra to oust Sena from the position of senior ally, a position the party founded by Bal Thackeray had enjoyed till his reign.

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