Two days after Shiv Sena mouthpiece criticised him for being `narrow minded’ in the rescue efforts conducted by him at Uttarakhand, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi called on Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray at the latter’s Bandra residence.
The unscheduled meeting during Modi's first Mumbai visit after his selection as BJP’s campaign chief is seen as move by him to reach out to Sena, Thackeray. It could also pave the way for Sena’s support to Modi’s attempts to position himself as prime ministerial candidate of the BJP led coalition for 2014 general elections.
In the formal meeting that lasted 15 minutes, Thackeray told Modi that there were no differences between the two and he was not against the latter, said the sources.
For Modi, Sena’s support is significant to some extent, as the Uddhav Thackeray led party had so far not backed him eventhough it is one of the oldest National Democratic Alliance constituent that advocates hardline Hindutva.
During Modi’s tussle with senior leader L K Advani, the Sena had not supported him. To make matters worse, the party mouthpiece Saamna had on Tuesday slammed Modi for being rescuing only Gujaratis eventhough he was posing as a national leader. Thursday’s meeting is seen as an outcome of efforts from both sides for a patch-up between the two leaders. The Hindustan Times had on Thursday reported that the two leaders had decided to bury the hatchet.
Earlier, addressing top brass of the state BJP Modi said that only rallies by him would not win them elections and they will have to put in efforts. During his day-long visit to Mumbai, Modi also participated in an interactive session organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry and released a book `Beyond a billion bullets’ at a function organized by BJP’s Mumbai unit.