Mumbai, July 26: The Shiv Sena "rotted" during the 25 years of its alliance in Maharashtra with the BJP, which ended in 2014 ahead of the assembly elections, party chief Uddhav Thackeray said on Tuesday.
"For 25 years or at least two generations, we held each other's hands and moved on. We could have come to power on our own strength long ago but we rotted in this alliance with the BJP," Thackeray said.
He said the alliance may have been necessity then, "but if Shiv Sena had gone independently, the picture would have been totally different now".
In the final of a three-part interview published in the party mouthpieces Saamana (Marathi) and Dopahar ka Saamana (Hindi) on Tuesday, ahead of his 56th birthday on Wednesday, Thackeray spoke to Executive Editor and MP Sanjay Raut.
He said there was a time when all top leaders of the state and the masses were solidly behind then Sena chief Bal Thackeray but unfortunately "we had to rot in the alliance for 25 years".
That is because it was an alliance of ideologies without any selfish motives on the part of Bal Thackeray and out of genuine nationalist concerns without looking for short-terms gains, he said.
"Bal Thackeray never hankered for power. He was only concerned about preventing a split in Hindu votes. But now, the BJP broke the alliance," Thackeray said.
He said after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) snapped its 25 years of ties, the Sena fought the 2014 polls independently but got only two weeks to prepare. Otherwise, the situation would have been different.