Notwithstanding the Shiv Sena's frequent criticism of the BJP-led governments at the Centre and Maharashtra, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has expressed hope that the two parties stitch an alliance for the 2019 general and state assembly polls.
Maharashtra CM, whose government will complete four years in office on Wednesday, said that the coming together of Congress, NCP and others has "consolidated the opposition's vote bank".
"I think the political fact in Maharashtra right now is that the Congress, NCP and some other parties have come together. Their coming together has consolidated the vote bank of the opposition," he observed.
He also added that BJP and Shiv Sena will suffer 'in case their candidates are pitted against each other'.
"Both the parties would suffer (due to the division of votes) in case their candidates are pitted against each other. We understand this political fact, so does the Shiv Sena. Hence, I think both the Shiv Sena and we will come together".
The chief minister was interacting with a group of media persons when he rubbished reports which claimed that six BJP MPs and around 50 of its legislators were likely to taste defeat due to their "poor performance".
He said," BJP's internal survey was rather encouraging and the party will have more of its MLAs getting elected".
He stressed that the BJP and Shiv Sena were "close to each other ideologically" and shared a big common chunk of the vote bank. When asked about Shiv Sena's criticism of the government through its leaders and mouthpiece 'Saamana', he said that it does not have a bearing on the government.
"The government is run by the cabinet which is held peacefully. We discuss issues and take decisions unanimously. There has not been a single decision in the last four years that we took by vote," he claimed.
(With inputs from PTI)