Nitin Gadkari doesn't rule out post-poll pact with Shiv Sena

In an indication of a possible post-poll understanding with Shiv Sena, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that BJP could consider joining hands again with its estranged ally if the situation so demanded.

Describing breaking of the 25-year-long saffron alliance in Maharashtra as most "unfortunate and painful," Gadkari, when asked about a post poll tie-up (in a hung Assembly scenario) with the Sena, said, "If the situation arises, we can certainly think of that. Shiv Sena has been our ally bound together on the base of Hindutva."

Stating that there is no RPT no "bitterness" about the Sena in BJP, he said, "We have the same amount of love for Bal Thackeray as we have for Atalji."

"Our Parliamentary Board will consider these issues if necessary," he added.

When asked whether BJP would consider taking support of NCP-Congress after the elections as an expediency, Gadkari said, "We will get majority. No ifs and buts."

The lone Sena member of NDA Cabinet Anant Geete need not resign and nobody from BJP has asked him to step down, he told a Marathi news channel.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray attacked BJP saying it "used" the Sena to capture power in Delhi and broke the alliance afterwards for the Maharashtra elections.

Recalling the late Pramod Mahajan and Gopinath Munde's role in keeping the saffron alliance intact over the years, he said, "these BJP leaders never pushed things to the breaking point."

"Now for today's BJP leaders, it has become a game of chess," he said.

Thackeray, addressing a meeting at Parbhani in the state's Marathwada region last night, also ridiculed BJP's slogan which seeks blessings of Shiv Chhatrapati saying that the party never even celebrated Shivjayanti

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