BJP president Amit Shah and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray held a one-on-one closeddoor meeting at the latter’s residence in Matoshree on Wednesday. Although what transpired at the meeting was not known, the meeting came in the backdrop of BJP trying to reach out to Sena to continue with the alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha and assembly polls. According to party insiders, the BJP has promised the Sena plum cabinet berths in the upcoming cabinet reshuffle in Maharashtra as well as posts for its senior leaders in the Centre.
Prior to the one-on-one meeting Shah and Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis held a meeting for around 30 minutes with Uddhav and his son Aditya. Shah and Uddhav have quite a frosty relations. Shah has visited Matoshree only a couple of times since he became the BJP chief. However, on Wednesday, Shah s t ayed back at Matoshree and interacted with other members of the Thackeray household, according to BJP leaders.
A sizeable section of the Sena’s MPs and MLAs want an alliance with BJP as they believe that the party would be without power otherwise. There are others in the party, however, who don’t favour an alliance as they feel that the BJP’s growth has been at the expense of the Sena. In any case, Sena leaders said that they would ponder over the BJP’s request for an alliance to increase their bargaining power.
Shah will also hold a meeting with sangathan mantri Vijay Puranik and BJP officials to look in to preparations for the 2019 polls. He will hold a meeting with Fadnavis and Puranik at Varsha the official residence of Fadnavis. Earlier in the day, Shah met actress Madhuri Dixit Nene and industrialist Ratan Tata as part of BJP’s outreach programme.