Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray makes CM Devendra Fadnavis sit out during meeting with Amit Shah

Mumbai: The Shiv Sena is determined to make the BJP pay for its sins of omission and commission. No wonder when Amit Shah arrived at ‘Matoshree’ to keep his ‘appointment’ with Uddhav Thackeray, Sena was in no mood to ‘play along.’ Rather, Uddhav Thackeray made chief minister Devendra Fadnavis ‘sit out’ while he was meeting Shah.

Television channel sources said while the meeting took place on the second floor, Fadnavis was twiddling his thumbs on the ground floor of the house. It seems Sena leaders wanted to send out a blunt message that the ‘appointment’ was for the BJP president only. State BJP President Raosaheb Patil-Danve also kept away in deference to the Shiv Sena’s wishes.

Sources point out that Fadnavis too had stopped showing such courtesies to the Sena some time back. In March this year, Fadnavis had refused to entertain him after making him wait for over two hours. Setting the tone for the meeting with Shah, a scathing editorial in “Saamna” on Wednesday morning had questioned the BJP’s outreach programme after suffering the rout in by-polls. The editorial was also insistent that the Sena will fight all the upcoming elections alone.

‘‘The prime minister is touring the world and BJP chief Amit Shah is going around the country as part of their ‘sampark’ programme. Shah will be meeting NDA allies. However, what exactly will he do? Why is the meeting at this juncture, when the BJP has suffered defeat in by-polls,” the Sena had demanded in the article.

It is understood that in the meeting Uddhav asked Shah why the BJP was now so keen to fight the elections with the Sena, especially after treating it shabbily in the last four years. Thackeray also raised the agrarian crisis and the Bullet train project with the BJP president. Shah also visited the landmark Siddhi Vinayak Temple in Prabhadevi and called on Mumbai BJP President Ashish Shelar before proceeding to the Thackeray house.

The Congress is watching the events with keen interest. It feels the Sena is out to extract a better deal for itself in the general election. “The meeting between the two leaders is aimed at cutting a political deal, nothing else. The Shiv Sena is not going to snap ties with the BJP,” Maharashtra Congress chief and former chief minister Ashok Chavan prophesied.


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