After a long silence following the tension between the 25-year-old saffron alliance partners, the Shiv Sena has begun taking strategic steps on several fronts to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and contain its dominance.
In a double blow to the BJP, the Sena on Saturday reinstated its district chief in Aurangabad, who was accused of planning attacks on local BJP leaders, and senior Sena leaders in Mumbai decided to oppose a mega tower project belonging to a BJP MLA.
By reinstated Aurangabad district chief Ambadas Danve, the Sena clarified that it would not hurt its own cadre in the region.
Last week, Sena leaders had ransacked the standing committee hall of the civic body, bashed up BJP leaders and attacked their homes and offices following the dispute.
Maharashtra BJP chief Eknath Khadse had condemned the action saying that it was an attack on the BJP.
In a related development, the Sena in Mumbai has decided to take over the BJP in a strategic manner by announcing a massive protest against the construction of a 117-storey tower in Lower Parel by the Lodha Group.
The tower is a pet project of state BJP vice-president and MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha. The Sena distributed pamphlets, put up posters in Worli asking residents if they want a 'Ladha' (battle against redevelopment) or Lodha (the builder).
The letter, signed by senior Sena leader Dattaji Nalawade, said the protest had the blessings of Sena chief Bal Thackeray and party executive president Uddhav Thackeray.
Political analysts say this is could be Sena's strategy to embarrass the BJP after their bitter fight in Aurangabad.