With the possibilty of one-party rule becoming increasingly elusive, the Congress has been hunting for allies in states like Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. Even the BJP is busy keeping its allies in the NDA in good humour. In Maharashtra, BJP has found an ally in the Shiv Sena for the past two-and-a-half decades.
So far, the BJP has been successful in maintaining a modicum of neutrality, to uphold its image as a party with a national perspective. Consequently, it has never been questioned about its alliance with the 'intolerant' Shiv Sena, which is a party well-known for its aggressive pursuit of the 'Marathi' cause. Expectedly, the BJP's sudden deviation from its neutral ways to show open support for the Shiv Sena over the Sanjay Niraupam controversy has turned many heads.
When asked for his reaction on Uddhav Thackeray's threat to break Nirupam's teeth for having said North Indians slow Maharashtra down, Mumbai BJP chief Raj Purohit went so far as to say that Shiv Sena is a regional party with national vision, and Thackeray had reacted justifiably to Nirupam's provocative remark.
Clearly, the BJP wants to maintain its alliance with Shiv Sena in the BMC. It may not even cross 20 seats without help from Shiv Sena. Its desperation to humour the Sena is also proportionate to its design of entering into an alliance with the party for the 2014 general elections to the Lok Sabha and the Assembly.
Not to be left behind, the Congress is busy looking for partners in Uttar Pradesh.