Inside details of what transpired at the Shah-Thackeray meet
The meeting between BJP chief, Amit Shah and Udhav Thackeray, the Shiv Sena boss was a closely watched one. The meeting was part of the BJP's outreach programme ahead of the crucial 2019 elections in which it takes on a joint opposition.
Although, both sides did not make public what transpired at the meeting, sources in the BJP tell OneIndia that the outcome was a positive one. There were differences and tensions as well which had built up over the past few years. Most of them have been ironed out and some pending issues would be sorted out in the days to come, the source also said.
Udhav Thackeray would now meet with senior functionaries of his party and discuss the minutes of the meeting with Shah. While the BJP sought unconditional support for the candidature of Narendra Modi as PM in 2019, the Shiv Sena said that the BJP must accept it as the lead partner in Maharashtra.
Ahead of the meeting, Shah tried to cool tensions between the two parties and said in an interview that the BJP and the Shiv Sena would contest the 2019 and also the 2024 elections together.
BJP sources described the outcome of the meeting as a positive one and added that it was supposed to last for 30 minutes, but went on for two hours. The meeting was wrapped up with Shah having dinner with the Shiv Sena leader.
Both sides took ample care in ensuring that some leaders who have been problematic for the coalition were kept out. The state BJP president Raosaheb Danve was kept away after the Sena objected.
Samna executive editor and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut too stayed away after the BJP objected to it. Both sides took ample precautions to ensure that the outcome of the meeting was a positive one.
Shah was accompanied by Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis. Udhav and Shah first held a closed door meeting for 30 minutes following which they were joined by Fadnavis and Aditya Thackeray.