A day after Maharashtra BJP leaders made a strong pitch to go it alone in the Assembly polls due in October, ally Shiv Sena’s president Uddhav Thackeray dismissed talks of a break-up in the alliance, saying he had received no such proposal from BJP president Rajnath Singh.
Speaking at a book release function at Shivaji Park Friday evening, Thackeray said, “I cannot take cognisance of what workers said at the BJP conclave. I will take note of such developments only if it is conveyed to me through Rajnath Singh.”
At a meeting on Thursday, state BJP leaders had strongly demanded that the party break its alliance with the Shiv Sena and contest all 288 Assembly seats on it own to ensure its growth and install its own chief minister in the state.
Downplaying the development, Thackeray said, “What happens at an internal party meeting cannot be considered as the final decision. At the Shiv Sena meetings, when we speak about contesting all 288 seats, there is a loud applause and support. The workers in the party are bound to feel that way.”
However, the Sena chief did not shy away from taking a dig at the BJP government at the Centre, albeit with caution.
“When the Narendra Modi government came to power, we all believed good days had come. We were very happy. Now, when it comes to tackling difficult situations, we realise the tension,” Thackeray said, hastening to add, “But we still hope good days are here to stay.”
After the shrill noise from the state BJP on the previous day, the tone from both the BJP and the Sena was conciliatory on Friday. The Sena’s sober tone was set in the morning when Sanjay Raut tweeted, “The Sena-BJP alliance is here to stay. The alliance is an outcome of decisions made by stalwarts such as Atal Bihari Vajpyaee, L K Advani and the late Pramod Mahajan.”
Maharashtra BJP president Devendra Fadnavis, who had maintained a moderate tone even on Thursday and tried to reason with his aggressive party workers, also took to Twitter to calm down the tempers. His message on the Facebook and Tweeter read, “Shiv Sena-BJP grand alliance will work together in polls.”