Mumbai, June 22: Maharashtra minister Girish Mahajan's comment that the next chief minister is expected to be from the BJP drew a sharp response from Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray Saturday. The alliance between the two parties was forged after he held discussions with BJP chief Amit Shah and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis (before the Lok Sabha polls), Thackeray said.

"We formed the alliance after BJP's national president Amit Shah, chief minister Fadnavis and I reached a mutual understanding. No one else should poke his nose into the issue of who will be the next chief minister," Thackeray was quoted as saying in a Sena statement. Ajit Pawar Questions Uddhav Thackeray's New-Found Love For BJP, Amit Shah.

The two saffron parties, partners in the ruling coalition, decided to continue the alliance for the Assembly polls (due in October) as well when they decided on seat- sharing formula for the recent Lok Sabha elections.

Speaking to reporters, Mahajan, senior BJP leader and state Water Resources Minister, had said everyone expected that the next chief minister should be from his party.

Thackeray said there were several burning issues before the state which needed to be dealt with. "There are problems of poor farmers who voted us to power. But instead of addressing their woes, the question of who will become the chief minister has assumed significance for some people," the Sena chief said.