The Shiv Sena on Wednesday said it has always valued personal relations irrespective of political affiliations and Tuesday's one-on-meeting between Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was part of personal relations as well as protocol.
The personal meeting between Thackeray, who heads the Shiv Sena, and the prime minister had set political circles abuzz against the backdrop of the Sena severing ties with its oldest ally BJP after the Maharashtra Assembly elections in October 2019 and forming Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government with the NCP and Congress.
After his one-on-one meeting with the prime minister, Thackeray on Tuesday said there was nothing wrong in having such interaction, adding sarkily that he had not gone to meet Pakistani leader Nawaz Sharif. "The Chief Minister's Delhi visit was not for political reasons. Those who see politics in it.....let them be happy with their thinking. There will be a lot of speculations over this meeting. We only hope that Maharashtra's pending issues with the Centre get resolved soon," the Sena mouthpiece Saamana said in the editorial.
Thackeray had led a delegation of his cabinet colleagues comprising his deputy Ajit Pawar, a senior NCP leader, and Congress' Ashok Chavan to meet Modi and discuss issues pertaining to the state.
During the 90-minute interaction, Thackeray also had a one-on-one meeting with the prime minister. Taking a dig at the BJP leadership in Maharashtra, the editorial said they should try to understand the "nature of the Modi-Thackeray relationship" in the context of the meeting.
The editorial said the meeting between PM, Thackeray, Ajit Pawar and Chavan lasted for over an hour. "We do not doubt that the mood was good and the meeting took place in a friendly and cordial atmosphere," it said. Without naming any state, the Sena said the meeting between Modi and Thackeray was important given that there is no stand-off between the Centre and Maharashtra which is seen elsewhere. "The present chief minister of Maharashtra is of the firm opinion that the state should get its rightful share," the editorial said