Shiv Sena denies differences with BJP

Shiv Sena denies differences with BJP

Striking a conciliatory note, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that his party’s “divergent” stand on a range of issues should not be seen as criticism of the BJP.

The Shiv Sena, which is apprehensive of the BJP trying to shrink its political space in Mumbai and parts of Maharashtra, made it clear that the party was not against the BJP.

At a meeting of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners on Monday evening, Thackeray even called Modi as ‘bade bhai’ (elder brother), a gesture that won him appreciation from the BJP leaders.

In brief remarks, at the meeting attended by Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and other senior leaders, Thackeray said the Shiv Sena had to take a divergent stand on certain issues in the larger interest of society.

The BJP and the Shiv Sena had ended their three-decade-old alliance on the eve of Maharashtra Assembly polls in October 2015 after a bitter war of words. The Shiv Sena sat in the opposition for a couple of weeks before joining the BJP-led government.

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