Shiv Sena seems to be testing the already strained relation with its alliance partner, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, in Maharashtra with a controversial poster that shows a smiling Narendra Modi bowing before the late Bal Thackeray.
The poster, which was put up at Sena Bhawan in Dadar by the party's East Mumbai unit, was later taken off after protests.
"We only put up posters to remember our old days. It is not to disrespect any political leader," IBNLive quoted Sena's Rajendra Raut as saying. The lines accompanying the photo say: "(Have you) forgotten the days when your (now) proud necks bowed on the feet of late Balasaheb?"
New Shiv Sena posters show BJP leaders bowing before Bal Thackeray. Also calls BJP Govt fake. Divorce beckons? pic.twitter.com/E3S9ZLESDh— Rahul Kanwal (@rahulkanwal) October 21, 2015
Sena has had uneasy ties with the BJP from the time the two parties went through a bitter separation before the Maharashtra Assembly polls. They then formed an alliance after the results were declared. The alliance partners have clashed on a slew of issues, ranging from a nuclear plant in Jaitapur to the distribution of portfolios.
Sena forcing the cancellation of Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali's concerts in Pune and Mumbai, and the recent paint attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former BJP member, has been seen as further widening the chasm between the Hindutva allies.
Sena removes controversial poster showing Modi, other BJP leaders bowing to Bal ThackerayOctober 21, 2015
There have been reports that the Sena may even cut ties with BJP. Times of India quoted anonymous sources to suggest that Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray might "soon ask the party's ministers in the Fadnavis government to quit their offices." (With PTI inputs)