Vinod Tawde. Pic/Twitter@TawdeVinod
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national general secretary Vinod Tawde has said his party should not have aligned with the Shiv Sena in the 2019 Assembly elections in Maharashtra as the Uddhav Thackeray-led party could never digest playing second fiddle in the alliance.
The undivided Shiv Sena and BJP together won a comfortable majority in the 288-member Assembly, but Thackeray broke the decades-old alliance after accusing the BJP of not sharing the chief ministerial tenure equally as promised.
Thackeray then allied with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, which was brought down by a rebellion by Eknath Shinde in June last year. Shinde became the chief minister with the help of the BJP.
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Speaking to Mumbai Tak channel on Friday, Tawde said, "There was no need for an alliance between BJP and Shiv Sena in 2019. The Shiv Sena could never digest playing a secondary role in the alliance after 2014."
"There were two thoughts on alliance with the Sena. Some were in favour and some said there was no need. I also felt the alliance was unnecessary," Tawde said.
He said the BJP never thought Thackeray would break the alliance, adding that the move had done long-term damage to the stand of Sena founder late Bal Thackeray, who was known for not backing off from an assurance.
Tawde also brushed aside Uddhav Thackeray's accusation of BJP not keeping its promise on sharing the chief ministerial term.
"A lot has been said on this. If no assurance (on sharing CM's post) was given, where is the question of fulfilling it," he asked.
The next Assembly elections in Maharashtra will be held in October/November 2024, a few months after the Lok Sabha polls.
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