Buoyed by the party’s spectacular showing in the Loka Sabha elections, several office-bearers of Maharashtra BJP today said the party must not play second fiddle to alliance partner Shiv Sena in the Assembly elections which are due later this year.
State BJP chief Devendra Fadanvis told the party workers at a meeting here that grievances regarding the Shiv Sena would be addressed at an appropriate forum.
“Shiv Sena has been our friend in good times as well as bad times. Just because our party has done well in the Lok Sabha elections, it would not be correct to call for breaking of the alliance,” he said.
He was responding to speeches by some leaders who said that Sena had not allowed BJP to grow in the state in the last 25 years.
“Shiv Sena (traditionally) contests 174 seats and BJP only 114 (in the Assembly polls). The difference is too big and our party should get an equal share,” senior BJP leader Madhu Chavan said.
Some speakers wanted the party to end the alliance. “Don’t underestimate us. The party leadership should trust the workers and contest all the 288 seats and we will create history,” a BJP leader said.
Another leader said while BJP treated Sena as an elder brother, the sentiment was not reciprocated.
Chavan said Shiv Sena tried to make “a bonsai” of BJP, and this must not be tolerated. Another office-bearer said the “business of partnership” should be on equal terms.
Fadnavis, while responding, said the party had taken note of the genuine sentiments of the workers.