Shah meets Uddhav, seeks support for election

Shah meets Uddhav, seeks support for election
In a consensus-building exercise ahead of the Presidential election, BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and the chiefs of other allies in Maharashtra.

The meeting assumes significance in the wake of a war of words between the two allies and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who issued a threat that his party was ready for mid-term polls after Sena ministers skipped a weekly Cabinet meeting, and kept targeting the BJP.

While Uddhav was accompanied by his son and Yuva Sena president Aditya Thackeray, Shah was escorted by Fadnavis and BJP’s state unit chief Raosaheb Danve Patil.

There has not been any official word on the meeting, except for a mere confirmation that it was a courtesy call held in a cordial atmosphere, sources said.

The Shiv Sena is the oldest ally of the BJP and it does not want to go wrong this time as the party’s founder, the late Balasaheb Thackeray, had supported Congress nominees Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee in the 2002 and 2012 Presidential elections.

While Pratibha got support on the grounds that she is a Maharashtrian, Mukherjee shares personal relations with the Thackeray family.

This time around, the Shiv Sena initially floated RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s name.  However, later it suggested agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan’s name as its choice for the august post.

Three-day visit ends

On Sunday, Shah wrapped up his three-day visit to Mumbai, during which he spoke to leaders of various parties as part of an exercise ahead of the finalisation of the NDA Presidential candidate.

He also met Ramdas Athawale, founder-president of the Republican Party of India (A), and some other leaders.

However, the BJP president could not meet Raju Shetti, president of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sangatha, who was one among those spearheading the farmers’ agitation in the state.



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