After acrimonious split, BJP hints at patch-up with Sena

RSTV Bureau
FILE: Chief minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray at a public event. (PTI File Photo )

FILE: Chief minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray at a public event.
(PTI File Photo )

A day after the BMC polls threw up a fractured verdict, senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari said there is “no option” for his party and Shiv Sena than joining hands for control of the Mumbai civic body. The two long-time allies had parted ways ahead of the crucial municipal elections last month.

“The situation now is that both parties have no option but to come together again,” Gadkari said.

“The final decision on this issue has to be taken by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray. Both are mature and I am sure they will take the right decision,” he said.

Lauding his party’s performance, which had gone solo for the first time in the BMC, the Union minister expressed hopes of best decision by both Fadnavis and Thackery.

“I feel leaders of both parties have to take a decision, showing sujh bujh (understanding) and maturity,” Gadkari said while speaking to a Maharashtra-based news channel.

gadkari_fadnavissHe, however, singled out Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ for its targeting of PM Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. In the last few months, the Sena mouthpiece had been deeply critical of Centre’s policy. In the Winter session of Parliament last year, it had chosen to support Opposition’s protest against the Centre’s demonetisation move.

“If there has to be a friendship with us (BJP), then there has to be a check on the writings in Saamana. How will there be friendship when Saamana, on a daily basis, writes insulting things about the PM and our party president?” Gadkari said.

“I feel that had these things been avoided, there would not have been so much bitterness between BJP and Sena,” he said, adding that Sena should take care that relations between the two parties should not deteriorate because of Saamana.

On Thursday, the BJP scored an emphatic win in the Maharashtra civic polls, emerging as the largest party in eight of the 10 municipal corporations, while finishing a close second to Shiv Sena in BMC elections.

The BJP improved its 2012 BMC poll performance by leaps and bounds, winning 82 seats, just two less than Sena. Both the parties are short of the magic figure of 114 needed to control the civic body.

(With inputs from the PTI)