Senior Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi,who was recently booed away from his partys annual Dussehra rally,called on Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at the latters residence Sunday in what is being seen as a rapprochement attempt.
I visited Uddhav to greet him on Diwali festival. There were several other Sena leaders and workers around. So there were no discussion other than exchange of greetings, Joshi said.
Last month,Joshi was forced to walk out of the Dussehra rally by Shiv Sainiks who were upset over his remarks the previous day that allegedly painted Uddhavs leadership in a poor light. Joshi had said,If Bal Thackeray were alive and had to build a memorial for his father,it would have been completed. If government had said no,Bal Thackeray would have brought the government down.
Joshis remarks were construed as a criticism of Uddhav,who had failed to resolve the memorial issue because of the state governments opposition.
Sena leaders present at Sundays meeting between the two said,Uddhav greeted Joshi with respect and offered him Diwali sweets. But it was very formal. Neither Uddhav nor Joshi discussed politics,though Joshi extended his apology.
Republican Party of India chief Ramdas Athavale also went to greet Uddhav today. After the meeting,Athavale said,Uddhav has assured of me of a Rajya Sabha seat. It will be discussed with BJP. It is a Diwali gift.
Sources in the Sena said,The Sena leadership wants BJP to find a safe Rajya Sabha seat for Athavale. Since both parties have just one seat each,it will be difficult to accommodate Athavale from the state quota. So they are trying to see if BJP can spare a seat in some other state to accommodate Athavale in Rajya Sabha.