Swamy meets Shiv Sena leaders

Swamy meets Shiv Sena leaders

A day after BJP formally commenced talks with estranged ally Shiv Sena on the its participation in the Devendra Fadvanis government, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy today visited Sena president Uddhav Thackeray's residence.

"I will try to meet BJP president Amit Shah after returning to Delhi. I will also speak to Narendra Modi and Nitin Gadkari.

"I will explain to them that if we take along Sena with us, it will ensure a stable government in Maharashtra and will also be a good thing for Hindutva," Swamy told reporters outside 'Matoshree'.

"Uddhav is an old friend. I know him since the time he was a small boy," Swamy said about his meeting with the Sena leader. "BJP has to take Sena along. Or else, why is there a Sena minister in the Union government," he said.

However, BJP was quick to brush the visit as one in the former Union minister's individual capacity.

"BJP has nothing to do with the visit. Swamy went to Matoshree, the Thackeray family residence in suburban Bandra today, in his individual capacity," a senior state BJP leader told PTI.

Senior Sena leader Subhash Desai was also present at the meeting at Matoshree. Swamy has earlier voiced his views that Sena should be a part of the Fadnavis-led government.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and state Cooperatives Minister Chandrakant Patil met Thackeray at Matoshree last evening for one-and-a-half hours. They left the venue without speaking to the waiting mediapersons.

Pradhan and Patil are expected to brief BJP central leadership about Thackeray's response during the parleys. Before leaving for Matoshree, Pradhan had said BJP had an "open mind" on holding the talks.

Fadnavis, who is on a tour of Vidarbha, today said the BJP wants the Sena to be part of the government, and expressed confidence that the initiative to bring it on board would succeed.

Meanwhile, Sena MP Anil Desai said the BJP leaders had not given any proposal.

"Talks with BJP leaders did take place yesterday. But we have not yet received any proposal from them," Desai said.

"Sena president Uddhav Thackeray will take a decision once we receive a proposal," he said.

Cooperatives minister Chandrakant Patil, who met Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai last night, told reporters in Kolhapur today that talks with Sena were progressing in "a positive manner".

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters at Vidhan Bhawan here, Fadnavis said he was hopeful of a positive outcome of the talks between BJP and Sena leaders.

"I am hopeful that something positive will emerge out of the talks before December 8," the Chief Minister said.

The winter session of Maharashtra legislature starts in Nagpur on December 8.

At a meeting of the House business advisory committee meeting at Vidhan Bhawan, attended by Chief Minister Fadnavis and group leaders of political parties, a two week agenda was finalised.

Any decision on the issue of extending the session duration will be taken at another meeting of BAC on December 18.

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