Modi-Uddhav meet likely; BJP, Shiv Sena reset relations?mumbai Updated: Mar 27, 2017 16:05 IST
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.(Hindustan Times)
Will Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray meet soon? State BJP leaders said PM Modi is meeting constituents of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) next week, when he may meet Thackeray too.
While Thackeray is likely to be invited along with the other NDA partners, state BJP leaders said a separate meeting between the PM and the Sena chief may happen. If it takes place, the meeting will be significant to both BJP and Sena, as the parties have a strained relationship in Maharashtra.
Revenue minister and senior BJP leader Chandrakant Patil said Thackeray was invited for a meeting. “The invitation was extended when Uddhavji called up the PM to congratulate him for the victory in the UP elections.”
The NDA meet comes in the backdrop of the election for the President of India.
“Despite being our partner for about three decades, the Sena has been targeting us continuously. Although Modi-Thackeray do not share cordial relations, such a meeting could end the bitterness between the two parties,” said a key BJP leader.
Two senior BJP ministers, Patil and finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, are expected to meet Thackeray next week to clear the air.
The Sena has so far not reacted to reports of invitation to Thackeray.
The BJP and Sena have been at loggerheads since the 2014 Assembly elections, the ties have been getting worse even though the parties run the state government together. Both parties independently fought the recent BMC elections, which were full of attacks and counters. Thackeray went on announcing that not only the city’s mayor, but even the state’s CM will be from his party. The allies in the state refused to join hands in the BMC to form the body after polls.
The constant bickering also gave rise to rumours that the Sena will pull out of the state government ahead of the BMC election. The Sena also cornered its ally in the state legislature by teaming up with the Opposition in the ongoing budget session over the issue of a complete loan waiver to farmers.
Fed up with the spat, the BJP is reportedly mulling the idea of ending the partnership at the state level.
The BJP has claimed it has the support of 29 MLAs from Opposition parties and that it would rather face mid-term polls than tolerate a troublesome ally.