In a veiled warning to Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, Amit Shah on Sunday said that if no alliance happens for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will crush its ex-allies like its opponents. Amit Shah also said that if an alliance happened ahead of the polls, the party will ensure victory for its allies.
While addressing BJP workers from Latur, Osmanabad, Hingoli and Nanded districts on Sunday, Amit Shah said, “Party workers should get rid of confusion about [prospects of] alliance [with the Shiv Sena]. If the allies join us, we will ensure their win, or else will defeat them too. Party workers should start preparations at every booth.”
Shiv Sena issued a statement calling the BJP president frantic and arrogant. The Shiv Sena also said that it was ready to take on whoever challenges it.
“It seems BJP doesn’t want help from those who are followers of Hindutva. In the recent assembly elections, people have shown them their place. In Maharashtra, people will do the same. We are prepared to take them,” Shiv Sena’s statement read.
Amit Shah’s statement came immediately after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis set a target of winning 40 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
“The BJP would put candidates even in seats contested by allies. So, I urge all party workers to get on the ground and commence preparations in earnest. It is not the job of a party worker to worry about alliances. These matters are the concern of the top brass. Our preparations must be to ensure that the party is victorious in at least 40 of the 48 seats,” Fadnavis had said.
The Shiv Sena also said that the BJP’s plan to win 40 seats meant it would rely on manipulation of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). “The BJP’s boast of winning 40 seats is evidence that it is going to form alliance with EVMs. The BJP has been unnerved by the results of assembly elections,” said an aide of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
“Amit Shah’s arrogant and boastful statements have exposed that party. Shiv Sena talked about Hindutva and Ram temple but it seems our stand did not go down well with the BJP,” the leader said.