The Sena moved to play down such buzz, saying it was not for political reasons. “I don’t want to comment on this… I don’t go by the media reports. There is no official statement about this… The BJP owes its success to Narendra Modi in the last seven years and currently he is the top leader of the country and his party,” Mr Raut was quoted by news agency PTI.
With elections due in Uttar Pradesh – a bellwether state ahead of the 2024 national election – questions are being asked of the BJP’s so-far unquestioned campaign plans. The acquisition of ex-Congress leader Jitin Prasada – an influential Brahmin face in the state – is an indication the party may be ready to reset and focus on local faces rather than out-of-state big-hitters.
Raut suggested that PM Modi “shouldn’t get involved in campaigning” as he “belongs to the entire country”.
“The Shiv Sena’s stand has always been a Prime Minister belongs to the country and not one party… Hence PM shouldn’t get involved in campaigning…,” he said.
With input from PTI, NDTV