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Thursday, Dec 12, 2019

Our alliance will form govt, says Uddhav; PM calls him ‘brother’

Thackeray pointed out that chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had praised him the most for his statement of the alliance coming to power again.

mumbai Updated: Sep 08, 2019 00:29 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Mumbai
Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, State Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray during the inauguration of stone-laying ceremony of various metro lines and inauguration of metro coaches, in Mumbai, Saturday, Sept 7, 2019. (PTI Photo/Shirish Shete) (PTI9_7_2019_000086B)
Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, State Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray during the inauguration of stone-laying ceremony of various metro lines and inauguration of metro coaches, in Mumbai, Saturday, Sept 7, 2019. (PTI Photo/Shirish Shete) (PTI9_7_2019_000086B)(PTI)
         

Amid friction between the saffron allies over the seat-sharing formula for the upcoming Assembly polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Mumbai on Saturday indicated that all was well between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena, and they would stick together in the coming months.

“The alliance is inevitable. Our alliance will come to power again after the elections,” said Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, while sharing the dais with Modi during the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) function in Bandra-Kurla Complex. He also praised Modi for abrogating Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Thackeray pointed out that chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had praised him the most for his statement of the alliance coming to power again.

“Fadnavis ensured Thackeray a seat at the dais to send the signal that the state’s and Centre’s top leadership endorsed the alliance,” a senior BJP leader said on condition of anonymity. Modi also sent a clear signal by referring to Thackeray as his “younger brother” at the beginning of his address.

While Thackeray praised Modi “for having the guts to abrogate Article 370”, he also reminded him of two other long-pending promises of building the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and implementing the Uniform Civil Code.

“I am sure even the Ram mandir will be built in Ayodhya and Uniform Civil Code will be implemented now. We have always been a strong country with a lot of potential, but what we lacked so far was decisive leadership. Now, we have a Prime Minister like Modi to give the nation that direction and vision,” said Thackeray.

The allies are yet to spell out the seat-sharing formula for the upcoming Assembly polls. While the two have decided to keep 18 seats of the 288 for their smaller allies, there is disagreement over the splitting of seats between the two. Sena wants an equal number of seats to be split between the two, but BJP is keen on a slightly bigger share, given their performance in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls. A section within the BJP wants Sena to contest at least 10 to 15 seats less. However, the message given by both the parties now is that despite their differences over the seat-sharing formula, the alliance is unlikely to break ahead of elections.