Pune: The BJP virtually hijacked Shiv Sena's slogan "Jai Bhavani Jai Shivaji" at the workers' rally addressed here by party president Amit Shah, indicative of a political one-up-manship in the backdrop of an ongoing bitter tussle over sharing of seats for Maharashtra assembly polls.
State BJP President Devendra Fadnavis raised the slogan last night concluding the public meeting, a practice usually associated with public rallies of Shiv Sena. Fadnavis during his animated speech, also kept on referring to Chhatrapati Shivaji's historical legacy asking party workers to emerge victorious under the leadership of Narendra Modi and with the blessings of the Maratha warrior king.
The party president who was given a ceremonial sword on the occasion also started his speech with tributes to Shivaji saying that it was from Pune that the Maratha king gave a clarion call for freedom from the then alien rulers.
Shah ended his address with a promise to give the administrative model of Shivaji to people of Maharashtra if BJP came to power. Since it was not a joint rally of the saffron allies , the shouts of "Jai Bhavani Jai Shivjai", an almost patented Shiv Sena slogan given by Fadnavis even caught BJP workers by surprise although they speedily caught up with what appeared to be a well orchestrated strategy to galvanize the cadre and attract voters in an aggressive manner.
Also, posters and hoardings with images of only Modi and Shah have come up in parts of Mumbai. Interestingly, they don't have mention or image of any Sena leader. One BJP hoarding has the following slogan: 'We seek blessings of Chhatrapati Shivaji and will vote for Modi'.
The constant invoking of King Shivaji's glory has been a pivotal passion that has historically kept Shiv Sainiks surcharged with Maharashtra pride by the late Sena chief Bal Thackeray.