Days after the announcement of seat-sharing pact with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for Maharashtra Assembly elections, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Monday said that his party has “compromised” on seat distribution for the “welfare of the state”.
The Shiv Sena was reportedly demanding 135 seats but settled with only 124. In an interview with her party’s mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, Thackeray said that he showed “maturity” while dealing with the BJP on seat sharing.
The Sena chief also put an end to speculations of his retirement from active politics that have been making rounds ever since his son Aditya Thackeray took the plunge into electoral politics. Aditya is contesting the Maharashtra Assembly elections from Mumbai’s Worli constituency. This is the first time someone from the Thackeray family is fighting polls.
"Aaditya contesting the Assembly election does not necessarily mean I am retiring from active politics. I am very much around," he said and sarcastically added, "I am not going to do farming." This was apparently a dig at NCP leader Ajit Pawar, who recently resigned as an MLA and advised his son to go for farming or some business instead of joining politics.
The senior Thackeray also claimed that his party put a check on the ‘Modi wave’ in Maharashtra in 2014 and added that he has always raised common man’s voice despite being in the power.
"There is no point in discussing the reasons behind the BJP and Sena contesting (the 2014 polls) separately. It was a war. There was a 'wave' at the national level, but we put a check on it in Maharashtra," he said.
On Friday, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena had formally announced their alliance for the Maharashtra Assembly elections. According to their poll pact announced during a joint press conference of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, the BJP will contest 150 seats, while the Sena will get 124 of the 288 Assembly seats. Rest of the 14 seats have been given to other smaller allies.
Referring to the recent reports of difference between the two parties on seat sharing, Fadnavis said that there were a few issues but they have been sorted out now and the remaining will be addressed soon. "Despite differences, BJP & Shiv Sena share common thread of Hindutva," he added.