Sena will always be 'big brother', Raut on alliance with BJP

PTI
Monday, 28 January 2019

"Shiv Sena is the big brother (in the alliance with BJP and other parties) in Maharashtra and will continue to be so," Raut asserted.

MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena on Monday said it would always be the "big brother" in an alliance with the BJP in Maharashtra, adding no such proposal had been received from the latter.

Speaking to reporters here after a meeting chaired by party chief Uddhav Thackeray, the Sena's Rajya Sabha MP and chief whip in Parliament, Sanjay Raut, said the party also wanted the income tax threshold to be raised from the existing Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh.

"Shiv Sena is the big brother (in the alliance with BJP and other parties) in Maharashtra and will continue to be so," Raut asserted.

"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," he added.

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 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 form a government in the state under Devendra Fadnavis and the Sena had to contend being the junior partner.

At the meeting held Monday in Thackeray's Matoshree residence in Bandra here, with party MLAs and MPs in attendance, the Sena also took some other key decisions.

"Uddhav Thackeray has demanded that the income tax threshold be raised from existing Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh," Raut said.

"The Union government has already decided to offer reservation to economically weaker sections (in the general category) having annual income up to Rs 8 lakh. Then they (people) should also get relief from income tax as well," he added.

During the meeting, Thackeray also discussed the drought situation and farm distress in the state with party legislators, Raut said.

He said the party will speak on the Rafale fighter jet purchase issue during the upcoming Parliamentary session.

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