As speculation of the Shiv Sena's reunion talks with the BJP heats up, its leader Sanjay Raut has stressed more than once that the bond between the parties remains, no matter where politics takes them. Today, he explained this "bond" by referencing actor Aamir Khan's divorce announcement.
"We are not India-Pakistan. Look at Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao, it is like them. Our (Shiv Sena, BJP) political ways are different but the friendship will remain intact," the Shiv Sena MP and spokesperson told news agency ANI.
However, Sanjay Raut clarified that there was no question of the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)- Congress alliance in Maharashtra breaking up and said the government would last its full term.
Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao announced their divorce last weekend after a 15-year marriage. On Sunday, the two sat together, holding hands as Aamir Khan said at a virtual event: "You must have heard about us. You would have felt sad, must have been shocked. But we just want to tell you that we are very happy and we are one family. Our relationship has changed but we are still together."
Mr Raut's analogy was in response to BJP leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis saying their parties are "not enemies".
"There are no ifs and buts in politics. Decisions are taken according to the prevailing circumstances. There might be some differences with Shiv Sena but we are not enemies. Remember that Shiv Sena fought elections with us and after the results, joined hands with the Congress and NCP," Mr Fadnavis had said on Sunday.
The two parties have been in talks for a possible patch-up for some time, say sources, amid reports of a strain in the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra coalition.
The first signs of a thaw between the Sena and the BJP flashed when Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray spoke one-on-one with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after their meeting last month over issues related to the state.
Soon after that meeting, Mr Raut remarked that PM Modi was the "top leader of the country".
In an interview to NDTV last week, Mr Raut said Uddhav Thackeray and PM Modi shared old ties.
"They spoke for about 40 minutes alone. This shouldn't lead to speculation that BJP will join hands with the Sena for a government. Our paths are different. BJP is in opposition and we are in power. But we still have strong personal bonds. The ties between the Thackeray family and Narendra Modi are years old. Politics can be separate but personal ties are strong," Mr Raut said.
"Look at Sharad Pawar. We always had ties with the Pawar family despite our political differences. This is Maharashtra's tradition - we are people who keep relationships intact," he added.