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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

BJP-Sena alliance to run BMC possible if Saamana stops criticising Modi: Gadkari

Union minister Nitin Gadkari has said the BJP and Shiv Sena should come together to run the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation but added that the Sena mouthpiece Saamana must stop criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi

mumbai Updated: Feb 25, 2017 07:17 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Hindustan Times, Nagpur
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at an official function  in Mumbai.
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at an official function in Mumbai.(Hindustan Times/File photo)

Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said an alliance between the BJP and Shiv Sena for controlling the country’s richest civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, was possible if the state party stopped criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The indications of a thaw in relations between the friends-turned-foe came a day after the BJP ended the Sena’s years of control over the BMC though no party was able to cross the halfway mark of 114 in the 227-member civic body.

The BJP improved its 2012 BMC poll performance by winning 82 seats, just two less than Sena.

“Differences cropped up between the BJP and the Sena over Saamana’s vitriolic writings against senior party leaders, particularly PM Modi despite an ideological bond between the two parties,” the senior BJ leader said.

Gadkari said if Sena wants BJP as a friend, it should ensure that its mouthpiece writes responsibly.

“Otherwise, continuing with objectionable writing in Saamana and wanting BJP’s friendship isn’t acceptable to the party.” The writings in the Saamana are generally seen as the party’s viewpoint.

Gadkari flew to Nagpur on Thursday night after the party won eight out of ten municipal corporations that went to polls in the state.

Nagpur is also the home town of Gadkari and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also arrived in Nagpur.

Fadnavis met Gadkari at the union minister’s residence at Mahal, apparently to chalk out the future strategy, particularly what role the party would play for controlling the Mumbai civic body.

Earlier, senior cabinet minister Chandrakant Patil also said that the BJP and Sena should join hands to run the BMC.

Patil is a close confident of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leadership in Nagpur and was deputed to negotiate with the Sena for joining the government, immediately after 2014 state elections.

According to RSS insiders, the Hindutva fountainhead also wants a post-poll alliance with the Sena to control the BMC. A sizeable section of RSS activists feel that the Sena should not take any help from the Congress or NCP as the people’s mandate was against the two parties.