Mumbai, Jan 23 (UNI) BJP leaders were defensive following the statement of Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray asking Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to stay in his state and not come to Maharashtra.
Maharashtra BJP president Nitin Gadkari, while reacting to the Shiv Sena Chief's statement, today said Mr Modi would campaign in Maharashtra for the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance adding that the Gujarat Chief Minister was an ardent supporter of the alliance in the state.
Talking to UNI, Mr Gadkari said Mr Thackeray was a fatherly figure for the BJP and respected on par with former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and senior BJP leader L K Advani.
Echoing similar sentiments, BJP national general secretary Gopinath Munde said, ''We will never keep our foot ahead of Shiv Sena and believe in the leadership of Mr Thackeray, who has been there as a guardian for more than two decades.'' If at all any crisis arose in the alliance, Mr Thackeray and Mr Advani were capable of resolving it, both Mr Gadkari and Mr Munde observed.
UNI JM SR MS RN1758