Will always be ‘big brother’: Shiv Sena on alliance with BJP in Maharashtra

Bharatiya Janata Party’s warring ally Shiv Sena on Monday said that it would the big brother in alliance with the saffron party in Maharashtra and will stay the same.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting chaired by party chief Uddhav Thackeray, the Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP and chief whip in Parliament, Sanjay Raut, reiterated that the party will play the role of a big brother if an alliance is made for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
On reports of BJP and Shiv Sena to fight on an equal number of seats, Raut said, “There is no proposal from the BJP to form any alliance with the Shiv Sena. Those who wish to forge an alliance with us are talking about it. We are not waiting for any proposal to be offered to us”.
Raut also said that the party wanted the income tax threshold to be raised from the existing Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh.
“Uddhav Thackrey Ji said on the 10 per cent EWS quota to General Category that people with annual income of 8 lakh must be exempted from paying Income Tax. Since you have labelled them poor, they must be exempted,” he said.
At the meeting held in Thackeray’s Matoshree residence in Mumbai’s Bandra, with party MLAs and MPs in attendance, the Sena also took some other key decisions.
During the meeting, Thackeray also discussed the drought situation and farm distress in the state with party legislators, Raut said.
Till 2014, the BJP and Sena, allies for long, used to have an understanding under which the former would contest a larger share of Lok Sabha seats and the latter would get a greater number of Maharashtra Assembly seats to fight.
In this way, both parties took the role of the elder and younger sibling in the general and state polls in their political “brotherhood”.
The 2014 Assembly polls, however, ended this “sibling” agreement as the BJP, on the back of a strong Narendra Modi wave and contesting alone, won 122 seats against the Sena’s 63 in Maharashtra.
The BJP went on to form a government in the state under Devendra Fadnavis and the Sena had to contend being the junior partner.
(With PTI inputs)

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