Sena wants Amit Shah to meet Uddhav
BJP national President Amit Shah’s visit to Mumbai on Thursday is becoming a bone of contention between the party and its ally the Shiv Sena. The latter has made it clear that it expects Mr. Shah to call on Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray while the BJP remains non-committal on whether this is on the agenda.
“Every single senior BJP leader including Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani had paid visit to the Thackeray residence Matoshree when they visited Mumbai. We are confident that Mr. Shah too will come for a visit,” said Diwakar Raote, senior Sena leader on Monday.
The BJP, however, did not give a commitment. “Each time BJP leaders come to Mumbai they need not necessarily meet Uddhav Thackeray. Mr. Shah’s visit is for party work, it is not an alliance meeting. Our alliance is not based on meetings. We wanted Amit Shah to take part in Ganpati Darshan,” said BJP’s Maharashtra unit president, Devendra Fadnavis.
Mr. Shah is not scheduled to visit Matoshree according to his programme. He will be discussing seat-sharing with allies in an internal BJP meeting.
Incidentally, Mr. Thackeray has said he will discuss the seat sharing with the BJP’s Central leadership and not State leaders.
Mr. Raote also clarified that the seat-sharing formula of 2009 would not be changed at any cost, no matter what the BJP wanted. In 2009, the Sena contested 171 seats out of 288, while the BJP contested in 117. However, after its resounding victory in the recent Lok Sabha polls, the BJP has been pushing for a larger share of seats.