Mumbai: Following months of squabbles, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will spend an evening together while the PM is in Mumbai for two engagements. The Chief Minister greeted the Prime Minister at INS Shikra, the naval heliport in Colaba. The Chief Minister and the Prime Minister then drove to Raj Bhavan for the first function where they would share the stage.
The Prime Minister inaugurated the Jal Bhushan Building and the Gallery of Revolutionaries in the Raj Bhawan. He will also address participants in the ‘Dwishatabdi Mahotsav‘ (200th-anniversary celebrations) of ‘Mumbai Samachar‘ at the Bandra Kurla Complex.
The Prime Minister and the Chief Minister will drive to the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), where they will attend the second event together. The Mumbai Police have put out traffic advisories as the VIP movement is likely to hit traffic movement in the city. The PM departs for New Delhi after the event at BKC, a business district in the suburbs.
The relationship between the BJP and the Shiv Sena has been soaring since the Sena parted ways and formed a coalition government in Maharashtra with the support of the Nationalist Congress Party and Congress. Since then, the Maharashtra Chief Minister has taken swipes at the BJP on various occasions. On April 25, this year, Uddhav Thackeray didn’t participate in an event in Mumbai where PM Modi was conferred with the first Lata Mangeshkar award.
The Chief Minister had gone to meet the 83-year-old Chandrabhaga Shinde, who played a significant role in the protests against Independent MP Navneet Rana and her husband Ravi Rana in the Hanuman Chalisa controversy. The Sena later alleged that the Chief Minister did not get any invitation despite having a cordial relationship with the Mangeshkar family.
The attendance of the Maharashtra Chief Minister at events attended by the Prime Minister is seen as a softening between the two personalities, and comes a week after the Chief Minister launched a stinging attack on the BJP over comments made by now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.
This also comes in the backdrop of reports that the Sena is upset with the NCP over the defeat of its second candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections. Both parties, however, claim that the Chief Minister’s reception of the Prime Minister is merely a matter of protocol and that all is well within the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.