Gujarat CM Narendra Modi met Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray Thursday to resolve differences in the saffron alliance before the 2014 Parliament and state Assembly elections. Uddhav extended the newly anointed BJP campaign committee chairman a warm welcome and said he looked up to him to take the BJP-Sena alliance to greater heights.
Modi walked the extra mile to visit Uddhav at the Matoshree residence of the Thackerays in Bandra apparently to enlist Sena support for his prime ministerial ambitions in 2014.
Sena,a loyal member of NDA,had recently criticised Modi. The last three days,however,saw it mellow after the BJP central leadership expressed displeasure.
Sena and BJP leaders said,The Modi-Uddhav meeting is the beginning of a new phase. They are ready to move ahead.
The 20-minute meeting was also a signal to MNS,which has scoffed at the BJP initiative for a grand alliance in Maharashtra.
Uddhav said,Let Sena and BJP achieve grand success in elections under your able leadership.
Modi said the Sena-BJP alliance would be consolidated to defeat Congress. I reckon the strength of Sena at the grassroots. We should work together to expose corruption of Congress. I have asked BJP to work with Sena to reach out to the people, he said. The meeting is expected to put an end to the Sena criticism of Modi through its mouthpiece Saamana.A senior leader part of the BJP delegation with Modi said,The meeting was partly an exercise to instill confidence in Sena,which has been apprehensive about BJP wooing MNS at its cost.