Mumbai: Shiv Sena maintained its hardstand on seat-sharing with BJP in Maharashtra and refused to “oblige” the alliance partner’s demand of an increased number of seats for contesting the next month’s Assembly polls.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had earlier rejected the saffron ally’s demand to contest 135 seats, out of the total 288 Assembly seats, in the state.
“The Shiv Sena will be contesting more seats (than the BJP) in the upcoming state polls…and the Chief Minister will be from the Sena only…Discussions are going on…But the final outcome (of the discussions) will be out by tomorrow,” Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said on Wednesday.
Hitting out at BJP over its Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath’s alleged “love-jihad” remarks, he said using it as a tool for political campaigning has been rejected by people who are only interested in development today.
“Love-jihad is an issue. But it cannot be used as an issue to do political campaigning. People did not accept BJP’s love jihad campaign. They are only interested in development today,” Raut said.
Rejecting that there was a “Modi wave” in Maharashtra, the senior Sena leader said there has, and there will be only a “Shiv Sena wave” in the state.
“Modiji is a popular leader in India…But there is no Modi wave in Maharashtra. There is only a Shiv Sena wave here…Balasaheb Thackeray’s wave,” he said.
Raut’s comments have come on the heels of the party mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ warning the BJP to re-consider its demands for more seats in the upcoming state Assembly polls.
It took potshots at the BJP for the reverses suffered by it in the bypolls, saying it should learn a lesson and keep its “feet on the ground”.
“Keep your feet on ground. Don’t get swayed by the frenzy of victory (in Lok Sabha polls). Only those who learn this lesson will win Maharashtra. Or else the public will do the needful,” the Saamna editorial said.
During the 2009 state Assembly polls, the Shiv Sena had contested 169 seats, while the BJP fought on 119.