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Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray by Amit Shah’s side as BJP president files nomination in Gandhinagar

This is the first time the Sena chief has accompanied any leader from another party while they filed a nomination

mumbai Updated: Mar 31, 2019 01:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Uddhav Thackeray,BJP
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray(HT FILE)

In a gesture that signifies the changing relations between the saffron allies who were on the warpath for the past few years, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday accompanied Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah as the latter filed his nomination for the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency in Gujarat on Saturday.

Thackeray flew to Ahmedabad and joined Shah as he filed his papers. This is the first time the Sena chief has accompanied any leader from another party while they filed nomination, which also shows the growing camaraderie between Thackeray and Shah. Thackeray was accompanied by his close aide Milind Narvekar.

“It signifies the shift in Sena’s attitude towards ally BJP. It also shows the Sena leadership is getting close to the BJP leadership. This will be significant post-elections in case the BJP has to rely on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners for majority in the Lok Sabha,” said a key Sena leader. The gesture assumes significance in the context of the Sena and Thackeray’s bitter criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah in the past. The turning point came in February when the two parties worked out a pre-poll alliance and Shah visited Matoshree, Thackeray’s residence in Mumbai.

“Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray always shared cordial relations with Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani, who were the BJP’s top leaders then. He could directly talk to any of them whenever needed. Now, it seems Uddhav has established such contacts with Modi and Shah. However, we are aware this could have happened since the BJP has found itself in a politically tough situation and needs allies,” said the Sena leader.

First Published: Mar 31, 2019 01:00 IST