Amid a growing rift between the Shiv Sena and its ideologically opposite alliance partners -- Congress and the NCP, Sena chief and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It was the first official meeting between Modi and Uddhav Thackeray since he walked out of the NDA alliance and took over as Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Uddhav was accompanied by his son Aaditya Thackeray.
Shiv Sena posted a photo of the meeting from its official Twitter handle. It said: “CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray & Minster @AUThackeray had a courtesy meeting with the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri @narendramodi ji in Delhi today.”
Dispelling political speculation, Sena leader Sanjay Raut earlier tweeted, “Yes, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will meet PM Modi. This is only a meeting, nothing else should be read into it. Jai Maharashtra.”
Last year, after the Maharashtra election, the Shiv Sena walked out of the NDA and formed a government with the help of the NCP and the Congress. This happened after the BJP refused to share the Chief Ministerial post with the Sena.
Thackeray also met Sonia Gandhi at her residence in Delhi the same day. The meeting lasted more than an hour, sources said.
This was Thackeray’s first meeting with Sonia ever since the formation of Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state late last year.
Uddhav was accompanied by son Aditya and Sena MP Sanjay Raut.
Congress called it a courtesy meeting.
Sources said the Congress conveyed its reservations about the new citizenship law (CAA) and National Population Register (NPR), which the party opposes as many of its leaders have moved the Supreme Court. “The Congress will raise the issue in the alliance’s coordination committee meeting,” said a party source.
When asked about Uddhav Thackrey’s support for the CAA and NPR, Congress in-charge of Maharashtra Mallikarjun Kharge said: “It was a courtesy call. The issues concerning CAA will be discussed in the state coordination committee meeting to be attended by all alliance partners”.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi government of Maharashtra is led by Shiv Sena with NCP and Congress being other partners of the coalition.
Before meeting Sonia, Uddhav made it clear that the new citizenship law and NPR are not meant to take away anybody’s citizenship. (IANS)