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Home > News > Report

How Mahajan kept the BJP-Sena together

Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai | May 04, 2006 00:34 IST

If his India Shinning campaign for 2004 general elections was the biggest political disaster for the late Pramod Mahajan then his tactful alliance with Shiv Sena was one of the biggest achievements of his political career.

In an alliance lasting more than two decades he singlehandedly saw to it that whatever hurdle came, he did not allow it to break.

The alliance was shaky many times but Mahajan, a master strategist, always managed to convince Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray to continue with the alliance.

In 1995 BJP-Shiv Sena did the unthinkable by forming for the first time a saffron government in Maharashtra. The alliance, though shaky at times, sailed through and completed it's tenure till 1999.

Mahajan was the only person in the BJP Thackeray trusted. The BJP will find it very difficult to replace him.

No wonder then, that when the news came out that Mahajan was sinking on Wednesday, Bal Thackeray personally went to the Hinduja Hospital to meet Mahajan and hisfamily.

No leader from the BJPin Maharashtra, including Mahajan's brother-in-law and former deputy chief minister Gopinath Munde can aspire to his stature.

Munde was never in the good books of Shiv Sena as there have been umpteen instances of his trying to become the chief minister of Maharashtra.

Interview: Gopinath Munde

In 1999 when BJP-Shiv Sena alliance were short of five MLAs to form the government in Maharashtra, Munde was very keen that he be made the chief minister so that he could prove the majority in the house.

In fact the then outgoing Shiv Sena chief minister, Narayan Rane openly said that the alliance could not be formed because of Munde's personal ambitions.

Sena gives up, asks BJP to take reins

The alliance could not form the government as Mahajan was busy with politics at the centre. Hecame down later to Mumbai only topatch up between the two warring parties after the Congress and Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Partyformed an alliance government.

"His loss is irreplaceable to all of us," said former state chief ministerand Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi after Mahajan's death.

Mahajan was an astute politicianwho knew that an Hindutva agenda and a strong alliance with the Shiv Sena was the only way to rule Maharashtra.

AfterUddhav Thackeray took the reins of Sena he interacted with senior BJP leaderslike L K Advani and A B Vajpayee but there was no enmity with Mahajan.

"He always has been an inspiration to manyBJP workers in Maharashtra. It is a great personal loss to me and the party," said BJP Maharashtra General Secretary Pramod Tawde.

The first test for the alliance will come in 2007 when Mumbai's municipal elections will be he held.

"In his death, the country has lost a skilled organiser, a forceful orator and an aggressive representative of its youth," Vajpayee said in his tributes to Mahajan.

Complete coverage: Pramod Mahajan shot

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Number of User Comments: 2

Sub: Errors in the article..

The article carries some factual errors, arising out of probably the quality of inputs the writer in hurry possessed or less of them. But, the ...

Posted by sanjay

Sub: Pramod was really a 'Maha' 'Jan'

Really and literally too, Pramod was a great personality (Maha + Jan), a unique star on the political firmament of India. Ever felicitous in carrying ...

Posted by U.Atreya Sarma



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