Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is on a 4,000-km statewide tour, on Friday said at a rally that those who left Prime Minister Narendra Modi were eventually "destroyed". He made the remark in reference to a BJP legislator who recently switched over to the Congress. But the comment is being interpreted as a message to ally Shiv Sena, as the two parties seem to be preparing to fight this year's assembly polls separately.
"Jisne chhora Modi ka saath uska hua satyanaash. Modi ka saath chhornewale ko janta kabhi maaf nahi karti (Those who left PM Modi were eventually destroyed. People will not forgive those who leave Modi)," he said at a rally in Katol, near Nagpur.
The BJP and the Shiv Sena have insisted that they will contest the elections together. The two parties, however, have launched separate campaigns.
The BJP is organising corner meetings, road shows and rallies, hoping to win a second term, preferably with a majority of its own. The Shiv Sena is also conducting its 'Jan Ashirwad Yatra'.
The Chief Minister admits that the seat distribution could play spoiler between the two parties, especially with the BJP admitting so many leaders from the opposition.
"We don't have a place for everyone. We have put up a housefull board. But the BJP and the Shiv Sena alliance will face issues with seat sharing because in some places we have all the MLAs and in some places, they have all the seats. If we have to fight in an alliance, we will get some and we won't get some. We are not worried about it," Mr Fadnavis said.
The BJP may also face anger of its cadre over the influx of opposition leaders in the party.
Sharda Patel, a BJP worker told NDTV, "There is a little bit of anger among us about these people, but since they are accepting our ideology, we are welcoming them."
Mr Fadnavis, however, dismissed the concerns. "I don't think there is any problem. And our workers know why the party has to do these things," he said.
The influx of politicians is not limited to the BJP alone. Shiv Sena recently inducted NCP Leader Sachin Ahir into the party fold.
The BJP-Sena partnership goes back nearly 30 years, but the past few years have been extremely difficult for their alliance. Both pulled back from the brink of a split and agreed last year to contest the polls together.
With the Sena appearing to be keen on pushing Aditya Thackeray into a big political role, the allies seem to be hurtling towards potential disputes on seat sharing as well as the chief minister's chair.