Indicating the BJP may fall short of simple majority and have to cede space for its allies, senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Tuesday said that while the government formed in 2014 was of the BJP, the next one will be of the NDA.
Speaking at an event organised by BBC News Marathi here, the Rajya Sabha MP said he had predicted a change in the political situation prevailing in 2014, when the BJP came to power with a simple majority, and of 2019, when members of the 17th Lok Sabha will be elected in the next two months.
Raut said the BJP might win around 210 seats in polls, scheduled to be held in seven phases beginning April 11.
He also said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) would get around 300 seats.
Sena is the oldest constituent of the BJP-led bloc.
Raut also said that as of now there was no alternative in sight to Prime Minister Narendra Modi within the BJP, but also added that other NDA constituents may have a say about who should be the next prime minister, should the BJP’s tally falls below 200 seats.
In 2014 polls, the BJP won 282 seats, the highest number of seats won by any party on its own since the 1984 Lok Sabha polls.
The saffron party went on to form the government under Narendra Modi, and inducted allies like Shiv Sena.
“Around three-and-half years ago, I had said that there would be a lot of difference between the situation prevailing in the country in 2014, and in 2019. In 2014, there was a BJP government at the Centre. In 2019, it (government) will be of the NDA,” Raut observed.
Speaking about numbers, Raut said the BJP might win around 210 seats and the NDA 300 seats.
He hinted the political narrative was changed post the Pulwama terror attack. “People want a stable government at the Centre,” he added.
When asked what prompted the Sena and BJP to overcome bickering of last four years, Raut said, “the alliance was stitched in the interest of the nation”.
Replying to a question of the session moderator that if he feels that Modi has tempered his aggressive style of late, Raut said one has to remain humble.
“You have to bow before the people. None can be their master. Neither Nehru, nor the Britishers, nor Mughals could become so. You have to be humble,” he said, without naming anyone.
Raut said Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had raised the Rafale deal issue aggressively, but it has fallen aside after the Pulwama attack, in which 40 personnel of CRPF were killed.
Referring to issues like unemployment, Raut said, “These issues are important, but they will be raised in the new Lok Sabha. We are not shrugging off these issues”.