Mumbai (Maharashtra): Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Monday expressed hope that bitter experiences between his party and the BJP would not crop up again and the two parties would work together to win the coming Lok Sabha elections.
Thackeray, who was speaking at a press conference along with BJP chief Amit Shah and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, said: “Our relations have been going through a bittersweet phase over the past few years. I hope bitter experiences between us won’t crop up again.”
In Maharashtra where 48 Lok Sabha seats are at stake, Sena has agreed to contest on 23 seats, while 25 seats will go the BJP. The two parties have also agreed to contest the coming Assembly elections as allies.
“People have been seeing the Shiv Sena and the BJP for the past 30 years. For 25 years, we stood united, and for the last five years, there was confusion. But as Chief Minister Fadnavis said, I still provide guidance to the government from time to time,” he said.
He went on to add that the two parties came together over the issue of Ram temple in Ayodhya. “The Chief Minister has already made it clear that the Central government is serious about the issue of Ram temple in Ayodhya,” Thackeray said.
“BJP is in full support of Uddhav Thackeray’s demand of Ram temple in Ayodhya. We have tried to acquire 67 acres land for the temple trust,” Chief Minister Fadnavis said.
Of late, Shiv Sena, which is part of the BJP-led governments at the Centre as well as in the state, has had a strained relationship with its key ally. It even targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Rafale deal, Ram temple issue, farmers’ crisis, and fuel prices among others.
Talking about the assembly elections, Fadnavis said: “For Maharashtra Assembly elections, we will hold discussions with our other allies too. After leaving seats to them, BJP and Shiv Sena will fight on an equal number of Assembly seats.”