'We formed the government without the Shiv Sena and it will remain stable.'
IMAGE: Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray greets Prime Minister Narendra D Modi as Home Minister Rajnath Singh looks on.
Madhav Bhandari, the Bharatiya Janata Party's chief spokesperson in Maharashtra, says his party formed a government in the state in 2014 without the Shiv Sena's support and will continue to remain stable even without its backing.
Bhandari's remarks came soon after the BJP's oldest ally, the Shiv Sena, at its national executive on Tuesday, January 23, decided to part ways with the BJP in Maharashtra for the 2019 elections.
"Though they are part of the government in Maharashtra, they contested every (subsequent) election against us very fiercely," Bhandari tells Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore in the wake of the Sena's sudden decision even as Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is in Davos, pitching 'Magnetic Maharashtra' as an investment destination.
With the Shiv Sena announcing its decision to contest the 2019 elections alone, will it soon be curtains for the BJP-Sena government in Maharashtra?
They have been contesting elections independently ever since the last assembly polls in Maharashtra. So where's the issue (of the government not continuing till 2019)?
Now that they have announced the decision, would it not affect the Maharashtra government's functioning?
All the elections that the Shiv Sena fought after 2014, it contested on its own.
Will your government complete its full tenure?
Have they been saying or doing anything differently since the last three-and-a-half-years?
When it has always been the case and the government functioned smoothly, it will continue to do so till 2019 as well.
Won't it affect the BJP's performance in the 2019 assembly elections if both parties contest separately? Isn't the Sena a valuable partner of the BJP?
The Shiv Sena is not a partner!
Though they are part of the government in Maharashtra, they contested every (subsequent) election against us very fiercely.
So, they are not partners, they are not friends.
What if the Sena withdraws its support to the Fadnavis government?
Let them withdraw.
Are you suggesting that the NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) is ready to join the government if the Sena withdraws?
I don't want to say anything like this and that is not our thinking.
Our government is a stable one and we formed the government without the Shiv Sena. Our government will remain stable.