Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Monday referred to his party as the “big brother” in the alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party in Maharashtra, PTI reported. The saffron party has not proposed extending the alliance in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, he added.
The parliamentarian made the comment while speaking to reporters after attending a meeting chaired by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai. “Shiv Sena is the big brother in Maharashtra and will continue to be so,” Raut said. “Those who wish to forge an alliance with us are talking about it. We are not waiting for any proposal to be offered to us.”
The parties have been long-time allies. According to a seat-sharing agreement that they had, the BJP used to get larger number of seats in the Lok Sabha elections while the Shiv Sena used to get majority of the tickets for the state Assembly elections. However, the BJP decided to contest the the 2014 Assembly elections alone and won 112 seats while the Shiv Sena won 63, making it the junior partner in the state government.
The Shiv Sena has since been critical of the BJP’s policies in the state and at the Centre. On January 6, BJP President Amit Shah and Fadnavis suggested to party workers that they might have to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections alone.
At Monday’s meeting, Uddhav Thackeray demanded that the income-tax threshold be raised from existing Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh. “The Union government has already decided to offer reservation to economically weaker sections [in the general category] with an annual income up to Rs 8 lakh,” he added.
The party’s legislators also discussed the drought in several parts of the state and the challenges faced by farmers, Raut said. The party plans to comment on the Rafale fighter jet deal in the next parliamentary session, he added.