The Shiv Sena is “quite wise politically” and understands that it has more to lose than the Bharatiya Janata Party if it goes ahead with its decision to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections solo, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told NDTV on Friday.

After MP Sanjay Raut moved a resolution at a national executive meet on Tuesday, the Shiv Sena announced that it will not ally with the BJP in either elections in 2019.

Fadnavis appeared confident that the Sena “will change their mind”.

“If the Congress and NCP [Nationalist Congress Party] come together and the BJP and Shiv Sena are fighting apart, will that only damage BJP’s votes?” the chief minister said in the interview. “It will damage them badly, much worse than how it will damage us...They will be the worst losers.”

The Shiv Sena parting ways with the BJP had seemed imminent for months, given the party’s repeated criticism of its former ally over the past year and its remarks about the BJP’s decisions in its mouthpiece Saamana. In October 2017, Raut had called the BJP the Shiv Sena’s “principal enemy” and said the Shiv Sena was part of the Maharashtra government “just for the sake of it”.