Barely three weeks ago, they were one. But that changed Sep 25, when the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance of 25 years collapsed, creating a state political crisis that culminated in Maharashtra coming under President's Rule at the height of election campaign.
Last month, the oldest political alliance in the country crashed when Bharatiya Janata Party unilaterally snapped ties with Shiv Sena after a partnership of a quarter of the century and one joint stint in power in the state - 1995-1999 - besides, twice in the NDA-I and NDA-II.
That same evening o9f Sep 25, the 15-year-old ruling alliance between the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party broke, necessitating President's Rule in the state.
A time line of the two former alliances on the eve of Maharashtra' 13th assembly elections:
25-year-old Shiv Sena-BJP alliance:
June 19: Shiv Sena formed in Mumbai.
Oct. 30: Shiv Sena's first Dashera rally held at Shivaji Park, an annual tradition which continued virtually unbroken for the past 48 years.
Shiv Sena enters politics by contesting Thane Municipal Council polls.
Shiv Sena contests Bombay Municipal Corporation polls, wins 42 of the 120 wards, shocking all opponents.
Shiv Sainiks stop vehicle of then Deputy Prime Minister Morarji Desai at Mahim over boundary dispute with Karnataka.
June 26-March 21, 1977: Shiv Sena supports the Emergency.
April 6: BJP takes birth in Mumbai, a conglomerate of former RSS-Jan Sangh leaders.
Shiv Sena-BJP saffron alliance formed.
Shiv Sena launches 'Saamana', the party mouthpiece to cash in on parochial and patriotic sentiments.
BJP-SS target control of Maharashtra Legislature.
Political quake as Chhagan Bhujbal quits Shiv Sena, joins Congress.
Shiv Sainiks vandalise pitch of Wankhede Stadium to protest India-Pakistan cricket match.
Dec 6: Babri Masjid demolished, then Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray claims responsibility.
Dec 1992-Jan 1993: Worst communal riots engulf Mumbai for nearly two months, and three months in some small pockets.
March 12, 1993: Serial bomb blasts rock Mumbai.
March 14: Sena's Manohar Joshi sworn-in the first Brahmin chief minister of the state, BJP's Gopinath Munde is deputy chief minister.
NDA-I, the BJP-led government headed by then Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee, assumes power at the Centre, lasts 13 days.
Justice B.N. Srikrishna Commission Report on 1992-1993 Mumbai riots indicts Bal Thackeray and others. The Manohar Joshi government trashes it.
1998-2004: BJP-led NDA government in power at centre for two terms - 13 months and a full five-year term, with Shiv Sena joining it.
Feb 1: Maratha leader from Konkan, Narayan Rane sworn-in chief minister.
Oct: Shiv Sena-BJP government voted out of power.
April: Maharashtra ex-chief minister Manohar Joshi becomes Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
February: Bal Thackeray's son Uddhav Thackeray becomes Shiv Sena executive president, cousin Raj Thackeray proposes his name at Mahabaleshwar conclave.
July: Narayan Rane quits Shiv Sena for Congress.
October: Raj Thackeray reeks of revolt, quits Sena.
Even senior leader, MP and executive editor of 'Dopaharka Saamana' Sanjay Nirupam quits to join Congress.
March 9: Raj Thackeray launches Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.
May 3: BJP leader Pramod Mahajan dead after being shot by brother.
July: Sena supports Congress nominee Pratibha Patil, a Maharashtrian, for Presidential elections, irritating BJP.
Oct : For third consecutive time, Shiv Sena-BJP alliance fails to grab power, Bal Thackeray disheartened.
RPI (A) of Dalit leader Ramdas Athawale joins Shiv Sena-BJP alliance of 'Shiv Shakti-Bhim Shakti', and a social engineering experiment.
July 2012: Shiv Sena supports UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee for post of President, breaking ranks from NDA, BJP again unhappy.
Nov 17, 2012: Founder patriarch of Shiv Sena Bal Thackeray dead after a long illness.
March-May 2014: Saffron 'Grand Alliance' grows with entry of Raju Shetti-led Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS), the Mahadev Jankar-led Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP), and Maratha leader Vinayak Mete's Shiv Sangram.
May 2014: Shiv Sena-BJP combine sweeps Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra, wins 42 of the 48 seats.
June 3, 2014: Union Cabinet Minister Gopinath Munde killed in road accident in New Delhi.
Sep 25, 2014: BJP breaks 25-year-old alliance with Shiv Sena.
Oct 19: Verdict of 2014 Oct 15 assembly elections.
15-year-old Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance:
May 20: Congress suspends Sharad Pawar, P.A. Sangma, Tariq Anwar - all former union ministers - for questioning the foreign origin of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
May 25: The trio launches Nationalist Congress Party in Mumbai.
Oct: Maharashtra legislative assembly elections held, Congress and NCP bitterly contest against each other.
Oct 7: Senior Congressman Sushilkumar Shinde urges NCP to come together and form the next government in the interest of secularism.
Oct 18: Congress-NCP's alliance Democratic Front government formed, Vilasrao Deshmukh becomes chief minister.
Jan 16: Vilasrao Deshmukh resigns as CM.
Jan 18: Sushilkumar Shinde becomes first Dalit CM of the state.
May 26: Congress-led UPA comes to power, NCP becomes a key ally.
Oct: Congress-NCP alliance contests Maharashtra polls, jointly wins second time.
Nov 1: Vilasrao Deshmukh returns as chief minister.
July: Revolt in Shiv Sena, Narayan Rane quits to join Congress.
Nov 26-29: Mumbai faces 60-hour long attacks by Pakistani terrorists.
Dec 4: Vilasrao Deshmukh resigns as the chief minister.
Dec 8: Ashok Chavan becomes the chief minister.
May: Congress-led UPA re-elected to power at the Centre, NCP continues to be part of it.
Oct: Congress, NCP contest polls together, win a hat-trick.
Nov 7: Ashok Chavan again becomes chief minister.
Nov 9: Ashok Chavan resigns in the wake of Adarsh Society scam.
Nov 11: Prithviraj Chavan becomes chief minister.
Aug 14: Union cabinet minister Vilasrao Deshmukh dies.
May 16: Congress-led UPA loses power at the Centre.
Sep 25: NCP breaks 15-year-old alliance with Congress.
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