Pimpri: Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said on Wednesday, "Even if we decided to contest the coming Assembly and Parliamentary elections independently, Shiv Sena will be the number one party in the results." He also said the party would continue to support the BJP=led State government.
He claimed the BJP state leadership was worried about the future, as unlike the 2014 election, there is no favourable condition for the party in the State.
In Shiv Sena's National Executive Meeting in Mumbai on Tuesday, the party decided to contest Parliamentary and Assembly elections independently.
The party has started meetings of office-bearers in parliamentary constituencies across Maharashtra. Raut was addressing the media after the first meeting in Pimpri-Chinchwad.
"It is foolish of some BJP leaders to predict a loss for Shiv Sena on going solo in the election," Raut said, without taking any leader's name, but indirectly hitting out at BJP affiliated Rajya Sabha MP from Pune, Sanjay Kakade.
Raut said, "Although we have decided to contest elections independently in 2019, it doesn't mean we will withdraw support to the government soon. We are supporting the Devendra Fadnavis government in the State in the wider interest of Maharashtra."
He said Maharashtra cannot afford to face political destabilisation at the moment.
Raut defended Sena's decision to elevate Aditya Thackeray as leader of the party, claiming it has nothing to do with dynastic politics.
"It is a regular position in the party, which is given to the leader based on his performance," he said.
Thackeray, who is Yuva Sena chief now, occupies a post treated as second position in the party.