Sena ends electoral ties with BJP

In a significant political development, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday decided to go solo in the 2019 Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections, ending electoral alliance with BJP.


Besides, it has also decided to contest elections in other states sans BJP, thus planning to increase its national presence.
The decision was taken at national executive meeting of party coinciding with the 92nd birth anniversary of its founder Balasaheb Thackeray.

In the meeting Uddhav Thackeray was re-elected as the president while his son and Yuva Sena President Aditya Thackeray was elevated as 'party leader'.

The Shiv Sena is the oldest ally of the BJP and is currently part of the BJP-led NDA govt in in Maharashtra.

The developments came at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis are in Davos attending the World Economic Forum summit.

The political resolution to go alone in next elections was moved by Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut, a close aide of the Thackeray family. "I moved the resolution for the Shiv Sena to fight the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls on its own in 2019," Raut said, adding that the party will win at least 25 Lok Sabha seats (out of a total 48 in Maharashtra) and 125 Assembly seats (out of a total 288) in the state.

Speaking at the national executive meeting, Thackeray launched a scathing attack on Modi and BJP. On the recently-concluded Gujarat polls in which BJP managed to retain power with great difficulty, Thackeray said, "In Gujarat polls, Congress gained position, the BJP lost its positionneither we are happy about Congress not sad about BJP....had there be a regional party...it would have won the election."

He also lashed out at Modi for taking foreign head of states and government to Ahmedabad and Gujarat. "(Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu came...he was taken to Gujarat....why not Mumbai or West Bengal...road shows can be done in other states....why fly kite, and not unfurl tricolour at Lal Chowk," he said.

"We will fight elections in every state for the cause of Hindutva, let's take a vow today," said Thackeray.

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