Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday responded to Shiv Sena’s “big brother” remark, saying his Bharatiya Janata Party was “not desperate” for an alliance with them, reported The Indian Express.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut had referred to his party as the “big brother” in the alliance with the BJP. “Shiv Sena is the big brother in Maharashtra and will continue to be so,” he had said.
“[The] BJP does want an alliance with the Shiv Sena but we are not desperate for it,” Fadnavis said. “We want the alliance as custodians of Hindutva and a strong force against corruption,” he said.
Fadnavis said the BJP wanted an alliance for the development of the nation. “Don’t want power to go in hands of people who looted nation for long,” ANI quoted him as saying. “We are trying to get into alliance but we are not helpless. BJP is the party which reached 200 from two.”
On the BJP-led government’s performance over the last four and a half years, Fadnavis said the “potholes” of the past 60 years cannot be fixed within five years. “We need a continuation,” he said.
The BJP and Shiv Sena ties have been long-time allies. According to a seat-sharing agreement that they had, the BJP used to get more 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 of 288 seats while the Shiv Sena won 63, making it the junior partner in the state government.
In the Lok Sabha, the Shiv Sena has 18 MPs, while the BJP has 23 MPs from the state.
The Shiv Sena has 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.