BJP leader Nitin Gadkari met the MNS chief with the same purpose.
Mumbai: Senior BJP leader and state cabinet minister Vinod Tawde met Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray Monday morning. The meeting took place at Mr Thackeray’s Dadar residence, Krishnakunj. Both leaders were together for almost an hour and while both have denied that there was any political discussion, the buzz in political circles is that the BJP tried to rile the Shiv Sena through the meeting.
As state culture minister, Mr Tawde met Mr Thackeray and invited him to the Natya Sammelan (annual Marathi theatre convention) in Mulund. Mr Thackeray was also invited for the June 7 condolence meeting on the demise of agriculture minister Pandurang Fundkar.
While both reasons were official, it is being said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is disturbed over the Sena’s continual reluctance to its proposal of an alliance. With Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray having decided to go it alone in the coming elections, the BJP, on its part, is trying to mount pressure on the Sena leadership. Mr Tawde’s meeting Mr Thackeray is being perceived as a move in that direction.
During the 2014 Assembly elections, BJP leader Nitin Gadkari met the MNS chief with the same purpose. At the time, there was buzz that if the Sena ditched the BJP, the latter would go with MNS. But that did not work out. So, Mr Tawde meeting Mr Thackeray at a time when the BJP-Sena alliance looks shaky could be a repeat of the moves made in 2014, believe many in politics.