Will Thackeray-Modi meeting improve BJP, Shiv Sena’s relationship?
Sources said a separate meeting between the PM and the Shiv Sena chief is also likely to happenmumbai Updated: Apr 10, 2017 14:24 IST
Will Uddhav Thackeray and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting improve the relationship between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena? That is the question on everyone’s mind, especially as the Opposition parties have united against the BJP-led Maharashtra government.
Thackeray will meet Modi at the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) meeting convened ahead of the presidential elections slated for July this year. As an NDA partner, Thackeray was invited for the meet to be chaired by the PM at Pravasi Bhartiya Bhavan in Delhi on Monday evening.
Sources said a separate meeting between the PM and the Shiv Sena chief is also likely to happen. Such a meeting would be significant for both parties, which currently have a strained relationship in Maharashtra.
BJP leaders now hope that the Modi-Thackeray meet will improve relations between the two parties.
The ‘Sangharsh Yatra’ (struggle march) organised by Opposition parties demanding a loan waiver for distressed farmers is being seen as an indicator that the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are undertaking efforts to build a Bihar-type broad Opposition coalition to counter the BJP.
This has become a cause for concern for the BJP, which had not taken Opposition parties seriously earlier, owing to its back-to-back wins in the elections held over the past two years, said sources.
The other Opposition parties that are part of the agitation are Peasants and Workers Party (PWP), Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal (S) and Republican Party of India (Kawade faction).
The BJP and Shiv Sena have been at loggerheads since the 2014 Assembly elections. Though the parties run the state government together, their relationship has become increasingly strained. Both parties fought the recent Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections independently, launching attacks and counter-attacks at each other. Thackeray made frequent announcements that not only the city’s mayor, but even the state’s chief minister would be from his party. The two parties refused to join hands in the BMC to form the body after the polls.
The constant bickering also gave rise to rumours that the Shiv Sena would pull out of the state government ahead of the BMC polls.