The Shiv Sena agreeing to fight the Lok Sabha elections - after saying for long it would go solo - with the BJP has given fresh ammo to social media users, who had a field day on Twitter and Facebook taking pot-shots at the Maharashtra party and cantankerous ally of the BJP.
Long before the deal was announced on Monday by BJP chief Amit Shah, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the Maharashtra party had indicated that it would go alone in the national and state elections.
"I hate you... accha now gimme a hug - Shiv Sena to BJP," a Twitter user Sameer Malik wrote.
Another Twitter user, Snehal Potdar, posted a graphic of a dog painted like a tiger, the Shiv Sena's mascot. "New tiger of Shiv Sena," he tweeted.
Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party put out a hoarding outside its Mumbai office, taking a swipe at Uddhav Thackeray's now-broken vows of "going solo" in elections. "Paying our last tributes to Shiv Sena's claim 'we are not hungry for power,'" the poster said.
The Sena had been targeting the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a range of issues, from the Ram temple case to distress in the farm sector.
"We rotted for 25 years in the alliance with the BJP," Uddhav Thackeray had said last year, ruling out a pact with Amit Shah's party, according to news agency PTI.
The Shiv Sena and BJP announced they will contest equal number of seats for the Maharashtra assembly elections, due later this year, and in the national elections the BJP will contest 25 Lok Sabha seats to the Sena's 23. Mr Shah claimed the alliance will win 45 seats.
Supporters of the election alliance tweeted it was a good move that will certainly bring results. "The season of alliances. Though not required to PM Modi-led BJP, the association with Shiv Sena is a welcome move," tweeted Tumuluri Sri Kumar, a Commerce graduate.
"It is necessary that nationalist parties come together. The Shiv Sena and the BJP have been partners for the past 25 years. Both the parties are ideologically committed to Hindutva," Priya, another supporter of the alliance, tweeted.
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