Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will on Friday meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in the national capital. The meetings will take place amid strain between Mr Thackeray and his ideologically opposite alliance partners- the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress- over a host of issues, including their disparate stand on the National Population Register and the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has played down Mr Thackeray’s scheduled meeting with PM Modi. “Yes, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will meet PM Modi. This is only a meeting, nothing else should be read into it. Jai Maharashtra,” he tweeted in Marathi.
Barely months after the Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP formed a government in Maharashtra, rifts among the three alliance partners have come on to the surface. Contrary to the NCP and Congress’s stand on the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Population Register, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray earlier this week extended his support to the two exercises.
“The CAA and the NRC (National Register of Citizens) are different and NPR is different. No one has to worry if the CAA gets implemented,” he had said.
‘The NRC (National Register of Citizens) is not there and will not be implemented in the state… The centre has not discussed NRC as of now,” he added.
Nationalist Congress chief Sharad Pawar, who had a crucial role in bringing together the Sena and the Congress, said on Tuesday they will discuss the matter with Uddhav Thackeray’s party and bring it on the same page. “We will convince the Sena,” he said.
Another point of disagreement in the Maharashtra alliance is the Elgar Parishad case, which has been handed over to the National Investigation Agency. Mr Pawar has claimed the case was transferred the day state ministers met police officers.
Shortly after Mr Pawar’s remarks, Mr Thackeray tweeted that he will ensure a related probe into the Koregaon-Bhima violence is not taken over by the centre.