In an apparent riposte to BJP's recent overtures to Raj Thackeray, Shiv Sena on Friday said it will field candidates in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi for Lok Sabha elections but at the same stressed that it will not contest against Narendra Modi and BJP chief Rajnath Singh.
Shiv Sena, an NDA constituent led by Uddhav Thackeray, insisted that its alliance with BJP is restricted to Maharashtra.
Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray with his son Yuva Sena president Aditya Thackeray. File Pic
Shiv Sena is said to be miffed due to former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari's luncheon meeting with MNS chief Raj Thackeray, estranged cousin of Uddhav, in Mumbai on March 3.
Raj had later announced his party's support for BJP's Prime Ministerial nominee Narendra Modi.
"We have our alliance with BJP in Maharashtra, not in UP. We will strive to expand our party in other parts of the country. Shiv Sena will field 20 candidates in Uttar Pradesh," Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut told reporters on Friday.
It will also contest five seats in Bihar and seven in Delhi.
Meanwhile, Uddhav's son and Yuva Sena president Aaditya Thackeray in a tweet said that Sena would not field candidates against Modi, who will contest from Varanasi in UP, and Rajnath Singh in Lucknow.
"Those who even believe such funny rumours, well, I feel sorry for them. Therefore, obv not contesting in Varanasi and Lucknow," Aaditya tweeted.