A Shiv Sena leader has echoed BJP general secretary Ram Madhav’s statement that the latter’s party may fall short of an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha, prompting it to depend on allies to form the next government.

Senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that it looks a “bit difficult” for the BJP to reach the 280-seat mark as it did in the 2014 polls.

“What Ram Madhav says is right. The NDA will form the next government. The BJP will be the single largest party. As of now it looks a bit difficult for the BJP to reach the 280-282 figure on its own but our NDA “parivar” (family) will cross the majority mark,” Raut told a TV channel.

Raut told PTI on Tuesday that the Sena would be happy if Narendra Modi becomes the prime minister again.

Raut said, “I welcome Ram Madhav’s statement and the Shiv Sena would be a part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). We would be happy if Modi becomes the prime minister again.”

The Uddhav Thackeray-led party has 18 members in the outgoing Lok Sabha and is a major ally of the BJP. It is also a part of the BJP-led government in Maharashtra.

Ram Madhav said in a media interview last week that the BJP will require the support of allies to form the next government after the Lok Sabha polls.

“If we get 271 seats on our own, we will be very happy,” Madhav had said. “With NDA we will have a comfortable majority,” he added.