MUMBAI: Devendra Fadnavis Wednesday became the first serving chief minister of Maharashtra from outside the Shiv Sena to attend the Uddhav Thackeray-led party's foundation day function.
Fadnavis' presence at the event was significant as it indicated his continuing good equation with Thackeray, especially when state elections are around the corner.
Thackeray had last week extended a personal invitation to Fadnavis to attend Sena's 53rd foundation day function.
Addressing the gathering, Fadnavis said he was feeling at home because both the parties worked for the saffron flag.
Terming Uddhav as his elder brother, Fadnavis said there were some differences between the BJP and Sena, the "oldest and longest-running allies", but now the differences were forgotten.
"Now the tiger and the lion have once again come together and no need to tell you who will rule the jungle," he said, claiming that the BJP-Sena alliance will win a thumping victory in the coming assembly elections in Maharashtra.
"When we return to power. We will make a committed effort to make Maharashtra drought-free," he said.
The issue of who will become chief minister and who will become deputy chief minister was secondary, he said.
Uddhav Thackeray in his speech slammed the "opportunistic" alliance of the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh, saying it was routed in Lok Sabha elections because it was not natural.
"They formed alliance to stop Narendra Modi from coming to power. We formed alliance on the strength of our natural qualities, that is why our partnership is unbreakable," he said, adding that the Sena-BJP alliance shared a commitment to Hindutva.
Though the Sena constantly criticised the BJP, its senior ally in the state government and at the Centre, in the last five years, the two parties fought the Lok Sabha election together.