When Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates Make In India week on Saturday, Uddhav Thackeray, chief of the Shiv Sena, BJP’s main ally, won’t share the dais with him at all, but Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar will.
This has irked Sena leaders. Thackeray would not be sharing the dais with PM Modi at the inauguration owing to protocol because he does not hold a constitutional post. At the same time, Modi and Pawar will be seen together at a non-government function organised by the Bombay Arts Society in Bandra.
The Sena leadership has given a clear signal to the BJP-led state government that Thackeray would attend the programmes only if he shares the dais with Modi. But this will not be possible at the two programmes organised for the launch of Make In India week because of the presence of the governor, state chief minister and heads of three nations.
Since the formation of BJP governments in Maharashtra and at Centre, the Sena, an ally of NDA, has been complaining of poor treatment meted out to the party and its leadership.
To pacify the Sena leadership, the state government has invited Thackeray for two other functions, including a seminar on ‘Make in Mumbai’.
However, Sena leaders are not happy with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ last-minute invitation for the two events.
“We are their ally. Surely, they could have ensured our leader was also part of the events. He doesn’t have to hold a constitutional post to attend these events,” the leader said.
A senior official from the chief minister’s office (CMO) said there is a technical glitch in inviting Uddhav for inauguration event of Make In India week. “Protocol has to be followed at any PM’s programme. More importantly, this is the central government’s event. As far as the state government is concerned, Uddhav has been invited for two events,” the officer said.
Sena leaders revealed Fadnavis and his office were constantly trying to reach Thackeray on Thursday. “The BJP seemed nervous that we’d spoil their party if Thackeray was not given a respectable invitation. Hence, at the last minute, they tried desperately to reach out and tell us they’ve made him the chief guest for one event,” said a Sena leader close to Matoshree, the Thackerays’ official residence.
Pawar, however, will share the dais at the inaugural function of the Bombay Art Society complex at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and Rangsharda Auditorium on February 13.