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Amit Shah Tells Cadre to Prepare for Solo Battle in Maharashtra, Miffed Shiv Sena Calls BJP 'Arrogant'

Hitting back at the BJP, the Sena said the 'people of the country had already started showing them the way with the results of five state polls'.

Updated:January 7, 2019, 11:29 AM IST
Mumbai: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah has asked party workers to prepare to fight alone in the Maharashtra assembly polls, in another sign of a deepening rift between the saffron party and its bickering ally Shiv Sena.

Shah, while addressing booth-level cadre in Latur, said: “If any alliance takes place, our preparation will be helpful for our partner's candidates. Don't think of whether alliance with Sena will happen or not. Prepare to fight alone.”

In the same closed-door meeting, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the party president would take a call on the alliance. “We have to prepare to fight alone. We will fight on all 48 seats, and will win at least 40,” he said.

The message, however, has not gone down well with the Sena, which said the BJP’s position shows its arrogance. “You don't want Hindutvavadis. With this statement, you have shown that you would rather enter into an alliance with EVMs.”

The Sena added, “We are used to attacking those who attack us. This state will show you defeat. The people of the country have already started showing them the way, with the results of five state polls.”

Sena’s editorial mouthpiece Saamana also launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying: “One crore nine lakh youth have lost their jobs in the last year. These figures by CMIE are in contrast to what PM Modi claimed in his interview last week. The hands of the youth which elected you to power, are now itching to pull you down.”

Relations between the allies further worsened on Sunday with the Sena saying it would oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, in Parliament. With the Lok Sabha polls around the corner, the Shiv Sena has adopted a more aggressive posture against the BJP, with whom it has shared an uneasy relationship over the past four years.

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