Union Minister Smriti Irani said that the by-election to the Palghar Lok Sabha seat was a contest between the BJP and those who were trying to “weaken democracy”.
Speaking at a campaign rally for the May 28 bypoll, Irani also lamented the rift between her party and its ally Shiv Sena.
“It is a fight between BJP and the powers which are contesting the election to weaken democracy,” she said.
“What is the reason for this distance (between the BJP and Sena) after staying together for so many years?” she asked.
“This is a game of power. In a game of power, relations are sacrificed,” she added.
Irani asked BJP workers not to get provoked, and speak only about development.
“I want to tell the party workers that they should not get provoked by verbal attacks during the campaign. We will fight on the strength of our culture and tradition,” she said.
The by-election to the Palghar constituency near Mumbai was necessitated due to the death of BJP MP Chintaman Wanaga.
While the BJP has fielded Rajendra Gavit, a former Congress leader, the Sena has given ticket to Chintaman Wanaga’s son Shrinivas Wanaga.