Mumbai, May 1: On the 65th foundation day of Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena on Friday pledged to the people that it would "always protect the 'unity and integrity' of the state".
In veiled note of caution to its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Shiv Sena said its youthful chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was born much after the state was founded, is in favour of smaller states, including Vidarbha.
"It's an honour to be the CM of Maharashtra, whether the incumbent hails from Vidarbha, Marathwada, Konkan... And Maharashtra will remain united under any circumstances... This is our solemn pledge to the people of the state, on Maharashtra Day," the Shiv Sena in an edit in the party mouthpiece Saamana.
It claimed that the party's fate is linked with the fate of the state -- "Shiv Sena was born only to protect Maharashtra..."
Urging Fadnavis to work for the progress and prosperity of the entire state, as the situation is not very rosy currently -- the people must benefit from the BJP-SS rule in the state.
Citing historical examples, the edit said that those who cast an evil eye on the state were destroyed and those who wanted to break the state had to flee into the darkness.
"The Shiv Sena is ever ready to suck the blood of those who bode ill for Maharashtra... We breathe only to protect the Marathi 'pride' (asmita), and the entire state, including Mumbai, the commercial capital, must remain united," the edit said.
"The Marathis are renowned the world over for their spirit of sacrifice and never flinched from shedding their blood for the country in the face of any crisis."
The edit also pointed out that as long as the Marathi attitude ('tevar') of pride and dignity remained intact, Maharashtra would remain 'a united, single entity', as in the past.