Hours after the Shiv Sena flexed muscles and proclaimed itself as the 'Big Brother' in Maharashtra politics, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday hit back saying the BJP will not 'beg' for an alliance with the Sena.
"Yes, we want an alliance but we are not 'beggars' and will not plead for it. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants the alliance to keep the 'Hindutva' forces united and ensure the anti-corruption forces remain together," Fadnavis told a party at Jalna.
His statement came a few hours after Sena MP Sanjay Raut dismissed the possibility of aligning with the BJP and warned that the "Shiv Sena will always remain the 'Big Brother' in Maharashtra and shake the throne of Delhi".
Sharply countering this, Fadnavis said that those who believe in 'Hindutva' will come for an alliance and the BJP will take them along with it.
"The (BJP) President Amit Shah has made it clear: if friends come with us and strengthen Modi, we will ensure that all of us win or else we will ensure their defeat," Fadnavis said in a veiled threat to the Sena.
"Our objective is not just to capture power but serve our 'Bharat Mata'. And for this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi must be returned to power. This should be our only resolve," Fadnavis thundered.
Taking a swipe at opposition unity, Fadnavis said that 'MahaThug Bandhan' will achieve nothing and it is time to strive and ensure that the reforms initiated after 2014 are continued by bringing back Modi to power.
He said it was not easy to "fill up the holes created in past 60 years" in just five years, but the process had begun and will continue, calling upon the party activists to propagate the government's achievements.
Earlier today, Raut got the BJP's goatee by challenging that in the past over 25 years of alliance and from the time of the late Bal Thackeray, "Shiv Sena has always been the Big Brother" and now this 'Big Brother' will rock the throne of Delhi as it was fully preparing for the elections.
He also rebuffed speculation of 'back-door talks' of a BJP-Sena alliance as "mere rumours". The Sena is part of the government both in Maharashtra and the Centre.
However, much to the chagrin of the BJP, it has continued to target the party, Modi and Shah and since past few days even lavished praise on Priyanka Gandhi, who was recently appointed a Congress General Secretary by Congress President Rahul Gandhi.