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Sena can contest Assembly polls in other states too: Uddhav

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray

In a veiled snub to its ruling alliance partner BJP, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray today said encouraged by his party’s performance in Bihar, it may contest the Assembly elections in other states too, to “fill the vacuum of Hindutva thought”.

Addressing a press conference at Kalyan here after the unopposed election of Shiv Sena nominee Rajendra Devlekar as the Mayor of Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation, Thackeray said earlier the party was not serious about contesting elections outside Maharashtra.

“But now we have realised that we should move out to spread the message and fill the vacuum of Hindutva thought in the country,” Thackeray said.

The party, which is a part of BJP-led NDA, contested the elections in Bihar independently, though without success.

In KDMC polls, after an acrimonious campaign in which Sena and BJP targeted each other, Sena emerged as the biggest party with 52 seats in the house of 122, but fell short of majority. It has now entered into a pact with BJP, which won 42 seats, to share the Mayor’s post by turns.

“I did not visit Bihar but our leaders including Sanjay Raut campaigned there and we could manage more than two lakh votes. To fill the vacuum of Hindutva thought in the country, henceforth if there is a demand by the party workers we will contest the coming Assembly elections in other states too,” the Sena president said.

Asked about BJP’s debacle in Bihar, Thackeray said he wouldn’t comment, but then took a jibe at its partner saying “BJP leaders, MPs and MLAs themselves are commenting on it, why do you want me add to that”.

As to why Sena entered into a pact with BJP for Mayor’s post in KDMC after a bitter campaign, Thackeray said it was for the sake of development, and “let bygones be bygones”.