MUMBAI: Giving a clear hint that an alliance with the Shiv Sena is unlikely before the Lok Sabha polls, BJP national president Amit Shah on Sunday asked booth-level party workers not to bother about the alliance (with Shiv Sena) and to “just fight to win”.
Sources said Shah encouraged party workers at Latur and asked them to give their best and said, “We are an 11-crore strong party. Organisation is our strength. Use the strength to root out the opposition.”
While speaking on the alliance, Shah put the onus on Shiv Sena. “If they remain friends, we shall strive to help them win. If they go with the opposition we will wipe them out along with the opposition,” Shah said at the meeting attended by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, state BJP President Raosaheb Danve and skill development minister Sambhjai Patil-Nilangekar.
They held a two-hour review meet, where more than 5,000 BJP workers from Latur, Osmanabad, Nanded and Hingoli took part.
“The party president will take a final call on the alliance with Shiv Sena,” Fadnavis told party workers.
The BJP had won 23 out 48 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 while the Shiv Sena had won 18 and the NDA had managed to win 42 seats in the state. By setting the goal of 40 seats, the BJP has indicated that it won’t try to woo the Shiv Sena.
The BJP has also included former Shiv Sena chief minister Narayan Rane on its election manifesto committee. This, too, is being seen as an attempt to instigate the Sena.
However, Shiv Sena, which made the resolve to go solo, hasn’t reacted to the development. Shiv Sena spokesperson Dr Neelam Gorhe tried to brush aside the question and “each and every development can’t be reacted to”.
Meanwhile, the Congress-NCP alliance is almost sealed except for eight seats.
Shah is scheduled to visit Nagpur and Sangli later this month to address similar meetings.