BJP president Rajnath Singh on Saturday reached out to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in a bid to thrash out the differences, a day after the Sena said it will filed candidates in UP and other states even against the BJP.
The Shiv Sena is miffed after the BJP held consultations with Uddhav’s estranged cousin and MNS chief Raj Thackeray urging him not to field candidates against the party in Maharashtra. Following this, the Shiv Sena hit back by saying it would field candidates against the BJP in other states.
It was against this backdrop that Rajnath called up his Sena counterpart. Interestingly, Uddhav had hit out against the BJP for ignoring stalwart L K Advani, in an editorial piece in the party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’. “Advani’s name should have been in the first list of BJP Lok Sabha candidates. However, this did not happen. One who built the party and showed it days of glory was kept waiting. Why should the BJP take so long to decide on Advani constituency? Doing so is an insult to him,” he had said.
When Rajnath called up Uddhav, the latter told him that his party’s state units were putting pressure on the party to field candidates. More importantly, the Sena pramukh did not give any assurance that the party would back down from the move to put up candidates in UP and Bihar, where the BJP is hoping to get the maximum number of seats. The BJP chief, however, sought to play down the ‘Saamna’ article, saying even his own name nor that of BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi had appeared in the party’s first list. BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said, “ The Shiv Sena-BJP alliance is the oldest in Indian politics. It has been there for the last 28 years. Shiv Sena is like part of our family now. If it has expressed its feelings in ‘Saamana’, it is about the future of a family member.”