New bonhomie augurs well for ex-allies?

  • Sayli Udas Mankikar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Nov 01, 2014 08:37 IST

With Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray attending the swearing-in function of Devendra Fadnavis as the chief minister of Maharashtra on Friday, the process of BJP-Sena reunion seems to have resumed. It seems to have begun following Thackeray’s telephonic conversation with BJP chief Amit Shah and Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, both of whom assured him of positive developments in the next few days.

As the Sena decided to boycott the swearing-in function following BJP’s announcement that only its ministers would take oath, it seemed all was over between the two estranged allies. In less than 24 hours things are looking up and the dialogue between the two sides is likely to re-start on Saturday. Shah even had a meeting with Thackeray at Wankhede Stadium’s club house.

So what caused the change of heart?

The process, sources say, began with a phone call from BJP veteran LK Advani to Thackeray on Thursday night. It was followed by Thackeray’s trusted aide, Sena MP Anil Desai rushing to Delhi on Friday morning and getting BJP president Shah and Arun Jaitley to have a telephonic conversation with the Sena chief.

This was followed by a call by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis promising Thackeray cooperation on government formation, sources said.

Advani is said to have waited in the club room, waiting for Thackeray to arrive. He walked into the venue accompanying Thackeray on the podium.

“It was a two-way strategy, one-step ahead from both ends that sealed the deal.

Following Sena’s announcement that it will not attend the ceremony, Advaniji called Uddhavji and requested him not to do so. After listening to Uddhavji’s side of the story, Advaniji is said to have spoken to a senior BJP leader who has been talking to the Sena. In turn Sena took a step ahead and sent Anil Desai to Delhi to meet the two BJP leaders and got them to speak to Uddhavji,” a source who witnessed the activity said.

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