In an indication of a possible post-poll understanding with Shiv Sena, Union minister Nitin Gadkari has said that BJP could consider joining hands again with its estranged ally if the situation so demanded.
Describing the split in the 25-year-long saffron alliance in Maharashtra as most "unfortunate and painful," Gadkari, when asked about a post poll tie-up with the Sena said, "If the situation arises, we can certainly think of that. Shiv Sena has been our ally bound together on the base of Hindutva."
Stating that there is "bitterness" about the Sena in BJP, he said, "We have the same amount of love for Bal Thackeray as we have for Atalji." "Our parliamentary board will consider these issues if necessary," he added.
When asked whether BJP would consider taking support of NCP-Congress after the elections as an expediency, Gadkari said, "We will get majority. No ifs and buts."
The lone Sena member of NDA cabinet Anant Geete need not resign and nobody from BJP has asked him to step down, he told a Marathi news channel.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray attacked BJP saying it "used" the Sena to capture power in Delhi and broke the alliance afterwards for the Maharashtra elections.
Recalling the late Pramod Mahajan and Gopinath Munde's role in keeping the saffron alliance intact over the years, he said, "These BJP leaders never pushed things to the breaking point."
"Now for today's BJP leaders, it has become a game of chess," he said.
Thackeray, addressing a meeting at Parbhani in the state's Marathwada region last night, also ridiculed BJP's slogan which seeks blessings of Shiv Chhatrapati saying that the party never even celebrated Shivjayanti.
Would've been happy if Sena-BJP alliance continued: Advani
Meanwhile breaking his silence over the Sena-BJP split in Maharashtra, veteran BJP leader L K Advani said he would have been happy if the alliance had continued.
"I would have been happier, if this would not have been broken. But, this is also right that people from our party were saying that the seat-sharing formula was not proper and we should get more seats," Advani told reporters in Ahmedabad.
"When I was informed about this (alliance break-up), as Uddhav Thackeray called up and told me, then I talked to Gadkariji and he told me that he was dealing with the issue," he said.
Advani also said that he was not involved in the BJP and Sena's seat-sharing talks.
"I do not know much about this matter as I did not get involved in it," he said.