A day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis accused the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ally Shiv Sena of betrayal, the Sena said the ruling party was a “mad murderer” that is stabbing anyone coming in its way, PTI reported.

The Sena, in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, accused the BJP of backstabbing by fielding former Congress leader Rajendra Gavit for the Palghar Lok Sabha bye-election to be held on May 28. The bye-election was necessitated after the death of BJP MP Chintaman Wanaga. The Shiv Sena nominated his son, Shrinivas Wanaga, which prompted the BJP to accuse the Sena of betrayal.

“The language of back-stabbing does not suit Adityanath or Devendra Fadnavis,” the Shiv Sena said.

The editorial claimed the Sena’s victory in Nashik and Parbhani-Hingoli seats in the biennial elections held for the Maharashtra Legislative Council was just the beginning of its fight against the BJP. The party said it was confident of winning the Palghar seat too. “The developments that follow will change the course of politics in Maharashtra,” it said.

The editorial also reiterated that it has decided to fight all upcoming elections alone. “This is just the beginning of tomorrow’s fight,” the party said, in an apparent reference to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The party also criticised Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath for not removing his footwear while garlanding the photo of Chhatrapati Shivaji during his visit to Mumbai’s Virar suburb on Wednesday. “Yogi [Adityanath] comes here and gives lessons on Chhatrapati,” the editorial read. “However, while garlanding his statue, he does not even remove his chappals. This is an insult to Chhatrapati Shivaji. What does the BJP have to say on this?”

The Shiv Sena has repeatedly criticised the BJP-led government in Maharashtra and at the Centre over the past several months and often threatened to quit the alliance in the state.

In January, the Shiv Sena had said it will contest the 2019 Assembly elections as well as the Lok Sabha polls alone, not in alliance with the BJP. The party had passed a resolution to this effect at its national executive meet. In October, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut had called the BJP the “principal enemy” of his party and said the Sena was part of the Maharashtra government “just for the sake of it”.