Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday admitted that his party made a compromise while joining hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party for the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections. The Shiv Sena is contesting 124 of the 288 Assembly seats, while the BJP and smaller allies are contesting 164 seats. The Shiv Sena had reportedly asked for at least 135 seats.

“We have formed an alliance with a resolve... I compromised in the alliance but for Maharashtra,” he said in an interview to party mouthpiece Saamana. “We are contesting on a fewer seats because [Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra] Fadnavis and [state BJP chief] Chandrakant Patil requested me to understand their problem, which I considered.”

Thackeray, however, added that his party agreed to the alliance to serve the people of the state. “...I forged the alliance for power and there’s nothing to hide in that. With that power, I can give something to the 164 constituencies where Sena’s workers were ready to contest,” he said. He said he showed maturity in handling alliances.

However, he added that the Shiv Sena will get the highest number of members in the Assembly. Elections will be held on October 21, and the results will be declared on October 24.

The Sena chief said there should be an equal distribution of responsibilities and power once the government is formed. “When the alliance was formed for the Lok Sabha elections it was announced that power and responsibilities will be shared equally,” Thackeray said. “It is an extremely important part. Once the government is formed on October 24, then people will come to know. I’m confident about it.”

Thackeray said the Sena had put a check on the “Modi wave” in 2014 when it had snapped ties with BJP ahead of the Assembly polls. “There is no point in discussing the reasons behind the BJP and Sena contesting [the 2014 polls] separately,” he added. “It was a war. There was a ‘wave’ at the national level, but we put a check on it in Maharashtra. Despite being in power, we have always raised voice for the cause of the common man,” he added.

Thackeray dismissed all rumours of his retirement which started doing the rounds after his son Aaditya Thackeray filed nominations for the election. “I am very much around. I am not going to do farming,” he said in an apparent reference to Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar advised his son to choose farming or business over politics.

Aaditya Thackeray is the first person from his family to contest elections since the Shiv Sena was founded by his grandfather Bal Thackeray in 1966. The Shiv Sena has fielded him from Worli in Mumbai. “He is contesting but that doesn’t mean that he will immediately become CM or deputy CM,” said the Shiv Sena chief. “He wants to take some legislative experience. He is interested in that.” The Worli seat is currently held by Shiv Sena MLA Sunil Shinde.

Thackeray added that he was working towards fulfilling his promise to Sena founder and his father Bal Thackeray that Maharashtra would get a Shiv Sena chief minister. “I am not going to quit politics till I fulfil the promise made to Balasaheb of making a Shiv Sainik chief minister of Maharashtra. I will do it,” he said.

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