Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Friday met Chief Minister Eknath Shinde at his residence. The reason for the meeting has not been officially stated yet. The meeting has given scope to speculations as state politics continues to dominate national discourse after Ajit Pawar's switch from the opposition to the government.
Meeting after speculations of Raj-Uddhav alliance
The meeting of two leaders comes following the display of banners in Ulhasnagar urging Uddhav Thackeray and Raj Thackeray to join forces.
Subhash Hatkar, an MNS functionary, had put up the banners, giving rise to various potential scenarios in Maharashtra politics.
Banners were also put up at several locations in Mumbai.
On Thursday, July 6, a meeting took place between Abhijit Panse, the leader of MNS, and Sanjay Raut, the leader of Shiv Sena (UBT). Since this meeting, discussions in Maharashtra have grown more intense, focusing on the potential political alliance between Uddhav Thackeray and Raj Thackeray. Sanjay Raut, a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha, is widely regarded as a trusted aide of Uddhav Thackeray.
Raj Thackeray had slammed Ajit Pawar's switch
While talking to media persons in Mumbai, Raj Thackeray briefly commented on the political happenings. He said, "Each day, the politics [in Maharashtra] is becoming deplorable. The representatives have nothing to do with the voters. Everyone has been making compromises for their vested interests. People need to think about this seriously. I will elaborate on this in the coming days. My Maharashtra tour will start in a few days. At that time I will meet the people."
Neelam Gorhe joins Shinde faction
Earlier in the day, Deputy Chairperson of Maharashtra legislative council, Dr Neelam Gorhe quit Uddhav Thackeray Shiv Sena faction (UBT) and joined Chief Ministe Eknath Shinde led Shiv Sena. Gorhe also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah's leadership and said that she was joining CM Shinde as he was working to take forward the ideology of Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray.
Neelam Gorhe is the third MLC from Shiv Sena (UBT) after Manisha Kayande and Viplove Bajaria. At the time of her joining, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was also present along with CM Eknath Shinde.