Kolhapur (Maharashtra): Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday justified the BJP's decision to split with the Shiv Sena on the eve of the assembly election last year, saying it helped the BJP learn its true might.
"It was unexpected. We did not know that we would have to face elections independently without our old ally (Shiv Sena), on the eve of the elections. But, if we had not taken that decision, we would never have realised our true might," Fadnavis said, at the inaugural of the three-day BJP state executive conference which got underway here.
This realisation of the BJP's strength went to help the party cross one crore members in Maharashtra and become the largest political party in the world, he said.
Barely a few days before the assembly election, the BJP had snapped ties with the Shiv Sena, its ally of 25 years, over seat-sharing differences.
However, a month after Fadnavis led a government as the head of the single largest party, the Sena crossed over from the opposition to join the government.
Fadnavis gave full credit to BJP president Amit Shah for the tough decision and acknowledged his support.
"He stayed in Maharashtra for one full month and guided senior leaders to go out in the field and ensure a victory for the BJP," the chief minister said.
He recalled that out of the 288 seats, the party crossed the 100-mark and formed the government with the help of smaller allies and assured that the government would complete its full term.
Earlier, inaugurating the conclave, Shah gave an overview of the one-year rule of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and also spoke about the achievements.
Referring to Maharashtra, he asked party workers to adopt each constituency where the BJP had lost in the last election and ensure that a party booth was set up in each village in the state.
The party's top state leaders, members of parliament and assembly, ministers and district chiefs are attending the three-day meet which started with prayers at the famous Goddess Mahalaxmi temple.
On the sidelines, Amit Shah's wife Sonal, who hails from Kolhapur, visited her childhood friends and savoured the typically spicy Kolhapuri cuisine, including the special 'Kolhapuri missal'.