Mumbai: A day after a BJP publication dared its ally to walk out of the alliance, Shiv Sena on Friday demanded a clarification from Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on the issue and sought to know if it was the ruling party's official stand, saying it has taken the article "very seriously".
BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari's article in the party unit's fortnightly publication 'Manogat', titled 'When are you taking talaaq Mr Raut', had dared the Sena to take "divorce" while enumerating the sacrifices BJP has made in past couple of decades-and-a-half to keep the tie-up intact.
The article also drew an analogy from famous Bollywood flick 'Sholay' and to its Jailor character, played by actor Asrani, in which he asks policemen to march in different directions, only to later find that no one was standing behind him.
"Probably (Sanjay) Raut and his party president (Uddhav Thackeray) are apprehensive that if they do walk out of the government no one from the Sena would be left standing behind them," it stated.
Responding to the article, Sena MP Raut said criticism should be made on policy decisions and not on a personal level. "Fadnavis should immediately clarify if the views expressed by a certain BJP leader (Bhandari) is the official stand of the party. We believe that such comments cannot be made on a personal level. Criticism should be done against policy decisions and not on a personal level. Making below the belt remarks only shows their level of thinking," Raut said in a statement.
"It seems they (the BJP) want to finish off their own government and thereby drown Maharashtra. We have taken the issue very seriously. Remember your government stands with our support. Otherwise, you have the option of taking support of Chhagan Bhujbal, Sunil Tatkare and Ajit Pawar (referring to the NCP). People will answer you then," he added.
The article had also attacked Raut for his recent 'Nizam' remarks. Raut had recently said the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in Maharashtra were "worse" than the government of Nizam.