Concerned with the infighting within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the prime ministerial nominee, the Shiv Sena wants its ally to be cautious over the rift amongst its senior leaders.
In an editorial in the party mouthpiece, the Sena leadership spoke bitterly about the infighting. "It appears that [Nitin] Gadkari and [Lalkrishna] Advani have ganged up against Narendra Modi who has expressed his displeasure by boycotting the party's national meet. While the Congress has doused the fire in its house, the same has broken out in the BJP now," read the editorial.
The article stated that Sena had predicted earlier that Modi's Sadbhavana Mission would end the goodwill in his party.
The Shiv Sena, too, is divided over supporting Modi's bid for the post of prime minister. While two MPs from the Sena -Bharatkumar Raut and Anant Geete - visited Modi during his fast in Ahmedabad, another group led by Sanjay Raut has been criticising the Gujarat chief minister.
The Sena had strongly supported Modi post the 2002 Gujarat riots. Later, as Modi positioned himself as a popular Hindu leader, similar to Thackeray, the Sena chose to ignore him. The friendship with Modi was renewed after the chief of its rival party - Maharashtra Navnirman Sena - Raj Thackeray praised Modi's development model. Both, Sena and MNS, are eyeing the votes of the Gujarati community in Mumbai, for which they think Modi's support is crucial.
Significantly, Saturday's Saamna editorial had highlighted the Advani-Modi rift. "Gujarat was a laboratory for the BJP. But they should remember that one mistake in an experiment could lead to a blast," it stated.