Shiv Sena: Limits of Political Opportunism

After coming into existence in June 1966, the Shiv Sena, set up by cartoonist Balasaheb Thackeray, experienced electoral success for the first time when its candidates won a majority of seats in the Bombay (now Mumbai) Municipal Corporation, the wealthiest civic body of its kind in the country. The party’s victory was aided by factionalism within the Congress on the issue of the creation of the new state of Maharashtra from the erstwhile Bombay Presidency province. It played an active role in the movement to include the Dharwar and Belgaum districts in Maharashtra and consolidated its base in Mumbai and adjoining industrial areas like Thane.

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