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BJP and Shiv Sena should face 2019 polls together, says Union minister Nitin Gadkari

BJP minister said he is willing to mediate between the two parties

mumbai Updated: May 30, 2018 11:18 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Nitin Gadkari,BJP
Minister Nitin Gadkari addressing the media in Worli on May 29.(Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)

Union transport minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Nitin Gadkari asserted that Shiv Sena was part of the National Democratic Alliance and the two parties should fight the forthcoming elections together as an alliance.

Addressing a press conference at Worli on four years of Modi government, Gadkari said that if the party asks him, he would mediate for reconciliation between the two parties.

Gadkari’s comment comes in the backdrop of the strained relations between the two allies.

After Shiv Sena fielded Shrinivas Wanga, son of BJP’s former member of Parliament (MP) late Chintaman Wanga, in the Palghar bypolls, the rift between the two parties widened.

In retaliation, the BJP did not support the Shiv Sena candidates in the legislative council polls held last week.

The Shiv Sena has already announced that it would fight all elections on its own and not join hands with its long standing ally.

“It is like ‘Can’t live with you, can’t live without you’. But, I think the two parties should fight the elections together,” said Gadkari.

“The Shiv Sena is part of the NDA and shares cabinet berths with other alliance partners. It had joined NDA on the Hindutva ideology when (Lal Krishna) Advaniji was the convenor of the combine and I was the party’s national president. Akali Dal and Janata Dal United were also the parts of the NDA. Our old allies are still with us and there is no problem in the alliance,” he said.

When asked if he would play the role of mediator to bring the warring partners together, Gadkari said, “Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and state BJP chief Raosaheb Danve are capable enough of convincing the Shiv Sena. If the party asks me to hold talks, I can do the honours.”

It may be recalled that during his tenure as state BJP president Gadkari had wanted to expand the party in the state but was not keen to have long-term alliance with the Shiv Sena.

Talking on the new tension between the two saffron parties in the state, Gadkari said anything can happen in politics and cricket. “Politics is a game of possibilities and compulsions and there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies in the politics,” he said.

First Published: May 30, 2018 11:18 IST