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BJP denies rift with Shiv Sena, says ties won’t break at any cost
Downplaying Shiv Sena’s decision to field candidates in UP and other states, BJP on Friday asserted that the two parties are “inseparable” and any “shortcoming” can be resolved through talks.
“We are standing together firmly for the next elections and the alliance would achieve its best result by winning majority of the 48 seats in Maharashtra,” BJP President Rajnath Singh said.
He stressed that the relationship between the two parties that has remained strong since the times of Bal Thackeray cannot break at any cost.
“When Balasaheb Thackeray was there, he was not just a leader known in Maharashtra but all over the country. Since that time, BJP and Shiv Sena have very strong, old and unbroken relations.
“I can vouch with confidence that the relations of BJP with Shiv Sena cannot break at any cost. If there are any shortcomings in the alliance, we can resolve through talks,” Singh said while denying there was any issue related to Shiv Sena fielding candidates anywhere else.
He said if there are any smaller issues of coordination, the general secretary incharge of Maharashtra, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, will resolve them.
Rudy said, “We firmly together stand for the next elections and the alliance would achieve its best and will succeed in getting a majority of the 48 seats in Maharashtra.”
In an apparent riposte to BJP’s recent overtures to Raj Thackeray, Shiv Sena on Friday said it will field candidates in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi for Lok Sabha election but at the same time stressed that it will not contest against Narendra Modi and BJP chief Rajnath Singh.
Rajnath Singh said there have been regular talks with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackarey. “There is not just a political relation with him, but we also share personal ties with him,” he said.
Shiv Sena, an NDA constituent led by Uddhav Thackeray, insisted that its alliance with BJP is restricted to Maharashtra. The Sena is miffed due to former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari’s luncheon meeting with MNS chief Raj Thackeray, estranged cousin of Uddhav, in Mumbai on March 3rd.
“We have our alliance with BJP in Maharashtra, not in UP. We will strive to expand our party in other parts of the country. Shiv Sena will field 20 candidates in Uttar Pradesh,” Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut told reporters on Friday.
It will also contest five seats in Bihar and seven in Delhi.
Meanwhile, Uddhav’s son and Yuva Sena president Aaditya Thackeray in a tweet said that Sena would not field candidates against Modi, who will contest from Varanasi in UP, and Rajnath Singh in Lucknow.
“Those who even believe such funny rumours, well, I feel sorry for them. Therefore, obv (sic) not contesting in Varanasi and Lucknow,” Aaditya tweeted.