Shiv Sena part ways with BJP, to contest 2019 Lok Sabha elections alone

NEW DELHI: The Shiv Sena today called off its alliance with the BJP and Sanjay Raut stated that they will fight 2019 Assembly and Lok Sabha elections alone.

The Shiv Sena on Tuesday passed a resolution to go solo in the upcoming Maharashtra assembly polls as well as the Lok Sabha elections scheduled in 2019.

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Sena leader Sanjay Raut moved the resolution at the party’s national executive committee meeting in Mumbai and it was passed unanimously. The party has pledged to win at least 25 seats (out of 48) in the Lok Sabha and 150 seats (out of 288) in state assembly.

From time to time, Sena leaders have talked about ending the coalition. Back in December, Raut had hinted that the Sena and the BJP were on the verge of a split after youth wing head Aaditya Thackeray threatened to walk out of the Maharashtra government within a year.

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The right-wing party shares an uneasy alliance with the BJP in the state and has been vocal in opposing some of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies. Cracks in the BJP-Sena alliance became apparent when the latter decided to contest the 2017 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls on its own strength. What followed was a bitter-fought campaign with allegations of corruption and incompetence flying back and forth.