Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday said that splitting with their decades-old ally Bharatiya Janata Party was a hurtful decision and Shiv Sena had stood like a mountain for BJP during the time of crisis.
“I am honestly saying that it was not a game. We were with the BJP from the past 25-30 years and it was not any sort of political compulsion. We have a relationship with Pramodji (Pramod Mahajan), Nitinji (Nitin Gadkari), Gopinathji (Gopinath Munde) and besides them Atalji (Atal Bihari Vajpayee). I was anguished while breaking up with them (BJP). This has hurt me a lot… During the time of crisis, our party stood like a mountain for them… there were attacks on Hindutva, we took it upon ourselves.. Why could not they stay united with the Shiv Sena?” he said in an interview with Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna.
When asked if there is any possibility of forming an alliance with the BJP in the future, Thackeray avoided a direct answer and said: “whatever I have done so far, I have done with an open heart.””When we were with the BJP, it was them who closed the doors. They stepped out of the door…They themselves closed the doors. I have clearly said a lot of times that we have wasted our 25 years by being in alliance with them (BJP)”, stated the Shiv Sena chief.
The Maharashtra Chief Minister also outlined that it was not only the Shiv Sena who have faced loss due to the alliance but also the BJP, whose tally has also come down from 122 in the 2014 assembly elections to 104 in 2019.
The BJP had emerged as the single largest party by winning 105 seats in the last Maharashtra Assembly polls while the Shiv Sena got 56 seats in the 288-member state Assembly.