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Aaditya Thackeray participates in cleanliness drive, Modi appreciates ‘young friend’

On Twitter, Modi appreciated Thackeray for providing ‘momentum’ to the campaign; he said that people will be inspired by his efforts.

mumbai Updated: Sep 27, 2017 11:53 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
Mumbai news,Aaditya Thackeray,cleanliness drive
Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray (HT File)

In a move that could set tongues wagging within political circles, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday congratulated Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray for participating in a cleanliness drive, ‘Swachhata hi Sewa’. Thackeray and former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar extended support to PM's campaign and swept Bandra on Tuesday.

The Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance is nearly three decades old, but the ties between them have been frosty since 2014. The Sena has been critical of the BJP and particularly of Modi's policies such as demonetisation, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the bullet train project. The Sena, which is a key constituent of the NDA, carried out rallies against the rising fuel prices and inflation in Mumbai last week.

On Twitter, Modi appreciated Thackeray for providing ‘momentum’ to the campaign. He said that people will be inspired by his efforts. “I congratulate my young friend @AUThackeray for participating in a cleanliness initiative in Mumbai & adding momentum to #SwachhataHiSeva,” he tweeted.

Responding to the tweet, Thackeray said, “Thank you sir. Always an honour to serve our nation. Always count Uddhav ji, me and all of us in with you in such noble initiatives. Mumbaikars and BMC (corporators, officers and staffers) have taken the cleanliness movement to a level that will make you proud.”

However, Sena leaders said that the exchange of tweets was unlikely to stop their attack on the BJP and Modi.

Meanwhile, senior Sena leaders have welcomed Modi’s appreciation of the Thackeray scion. “We welcome the way the Prime Minister has acknowledged his (Aaditya’s) efforts. Finally, they have accepted that he is a leader,” said a Sena leader close to the Thackerays, hinting at the 2014 seat-sharing meeting where some BJP leaders considered him a rookie. Reportedly, the BJP leaders had raised an issue about Thackeray’s age.

First Published: Sep 27, 2017 11:11 IST