Defending Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) decision to part ways with long time partner Shiv Sena ahead of Maharashtra assembly polls last year, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said the split of the saffron allies brought out the true strength of the BJP.
"If we had not taken this decision (of parting ways with Sena), we would have never known our true strength. Our realisation of our strength has helped us become the largest party in the world," Fadnavis while addressing a gathering of leaders before the party's state executive meet that began in Kolhapur on Saturday.
Before the assembly elections in October last year, BJP snapped ties with long-time ally Shiv Sena following the failure to strike out a seat-sharing formula acceptable to both. After fighting each other, the Sena joined the ministry a month after Fadnavis assumed as chief minister.
Fadnavis said this decision was backed by senior BJP leaders and had assured their full support to the move.
"We didn't know we would have to go in for the polls without our ally. Only three days before the elections, we called up (BJP President) Amit Shah ji and apprised him of the situation. We told him we will have to fight the election. At that moment, Amit Shah ji told us whatever decision we took, he will stand by us," Fadvanis said.
Heaping praises on Shah, he said "during the assembly election, Amit bhai made Maharashtra his home for one whole month. He asked senior state leaders to go out on the field and ensure a win while he stood behind encouraging everybody."