Prepare for Polls With or Without Shiv Sena: Amit Shah To Maha BJP

BJP chief Amit Shah asked Maharashtra party members to prepare for 2019 polls ‘with or without’ Shiv Sena’s support.

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India
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BJP chief Amit Shah. 
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BJP chief Amit Shah, on Sunday, 6 January, reiterated in Latur his previous advice to party members from Maharashtra about gearing up for the upcoming 2019 polls “with or without” the Shiv Sena. This happened in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

"We should now prepare to contest all 48 seats," Shah said to the party workers, as quoted by The Indian Express.

He also assured the party workers that the party will win 40 out of 48 seats without the alliance with the Sena.

"If the alliance works out, we will ensure victory for their candidates, otherwise we will thrash them," he added.

In a statement, Shiv Sena hit back at their estranged ally late in the evening saying, “Let there be a fight. Maharashtra will show them their place.”

Sena said the BJP chief's statement was arrogant and “exposes their stand.”

“By claiming victory for at least 40 seats, the BJP has made it clear that they are going to do an alliance with the EVM," read the statement from the Shiv Sena spokesperson.

The statement further said the BJP doesn't want to ally with "those who believe in Hindutva."

No ‘Unreasonable Compromise’ For Alliance

Last week, addressing a meeting of BJP members from Maharashtra in New Delhi, BJP President Amit Shah told the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members to prepare for the crucial 2019 polls.

According to The Indian Express, participants in the meeting chaired by Shah last week said that he was clear that the party would not “unreasonably compromise” just for the sake of an alliance.

Shah was also confident that the party’s poll prospects in 2019 would be better due to the commendable performances by the state and central governments.

According to senior BJP leaders, the Sena wants the BJP to concede more seats in the upcoming polls. They want the Bihar model to be replicated but poll managers believe that the two states cannot be compared.

“Amit Shah said the BJP was keen on having a pre-poll alliance with the Shiv Sena for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. But if the alliance does not happen, the BJP should be well-prepared for going solo. The party president also underlined the fact that the BJP will not concede to the alliance partner’s unreasonable demands on seat-sharing.”
A senior MP, on condition of anonymity, as reported by The Indian Express

The Shiv Sena has used the contentious Ram Temple issue to fault the BJP over the delay in its construction.

Last week, Sena leaders called for an ordinance to hasten the temple’s construction, arguing that the case has been dragging in the courts for too long.

(With inputs from The Indian Express)

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