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Speculation of Sena Walking Out of Alliance Grows, BJP Says Uddhav Won’t Take Step That Benefits Congress

The chasm between the Sena, one of the oldest allies of the NDA, and the BJP grew further since the Sena fielded late Palghar BJP MP Chintaman Wanaga's son against the BJP nominee in the contest.

PTI

Updated:May 31, 2018, 10:56 PM IST
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Speculation of Sena Walking Out of Alliance Grows, BJP Says Uddhav Won’t Take Step That Benefits Congress
File photo of Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray.
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Mumbai: Hours after the Shiv Sena losing Palghar Lok Sabha bypoll to the BJP and party chief Uddhav Thackeray saying the BJP government did not need allies anymore, Maharashtra BJP leader Chandrakant Patil has ruled out the possibility of the Sena walking out of the NDA.

"Uddhav will not take a step that will benefit the opposition Congress," the Revenue Minister told reporters at Mantralaya here.

In keenly-contested Palghar byelection, results for which were announced today, BJP's Rajendra Gavit defeated Shrinivas Wanaga of the Sena by 29,572 votes.

However, the BJP lost the Bhandara-Gondiya Lok Sabha seat to the NCP.

In a press conference held after the results were declared this evening, Thackeray blamed faulty EVMs and "unfair means" adopted by the BJP for the adverse result in Palghar.

The chasm between the Sena, one of the oldest allies of the NDA, and the BJP grew further since the Sena fielded late Palghar BJP MP Chintaman Wanaga's son against the BJP nominee in the contest.

During campaigning for Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya bypolls, held on May 28, the Sena and BJP leaders had exchanged sharp barbs.

"Uddhav is not a person who would immediately act on what he had said now. He will not take any step that will benefit the Congress. He will not act against the interest of the state," Patil said.

Thackeray told reporters that "When BJP came to power in 2014, we thought this government is here to stay for at least 25 years. However, just after 4 years, they are losing most by-elections, which has reduced them to minority now.

After coming to power with a majority, they did not need allies anymore".

Commenting on the outcome of Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya bypolls, Partil said, "Victory is a victory. Given the competition we had faced, the BJP has actually gained sizable votes. In fact the number of votes polled by the BJP and Shiv Sena in these bypolls are more than the 2014 tally".

He said the BJP would introspect on why it lost in Bhandara-Gondiya. Patil had recently said that BJP and Sena should avoid contesting elections separately as it would ultimately benefit the Congress.

"If you want the Congress not to come to power, the BJP and Sena should not contest elections separately," he said.

When asked about the BJP's performance in bypolls held in other states and their outcome, Patil said, "It is not a litmus test for forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. There is sufficient time left before the Lok Sabha and assembly elections in Maharashtra."
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