Uddhav won’t attend Modi events
ALLIANCE TROUBLE Shiv Sena chief snubs BJP over last-minute invites for city functions
MUMBAI: In a sign of the rising hostilities between alliance partners, an angry Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray sought to make a political statement on Saturday by snubbing a last-minute invitation by the Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) to attend twin ground- laying functions in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s presence on Sunday.
Indicating the ice- cold relations that he shares with Modi, Thackeray decided to go ahead with his tour of the drought-hit Beed district and distribute aid to farmers. The BJP, which had till Saturday refused to officially invite Thackeray to the functions, performed a U-turn and dispatched state housing minister Prakash Mehta to invite Thackeray on Saturday evening.
For Thackeray, however, the invite came too late. While he maintained silence on the issue, a close aide said, “They ( BJP) think they can extend a last-minute invitation and our party chief will be bullied into attending the event? The Sena doesn’t care much about such invitations and the BJP must know that.”
Sena minister Ramdas Kadam also said the invitation came too late. “Thackeray had already planned to go to Beed and distribute financial relief among farmers. This is a very important cause for the party and we can’t go back on it,” he said.
BJP state chief Raosaheb Danve on Saturday made it clear just how much importance the party gave to the Sena. Danve said that he and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had personally telephoned and invited smaller allies such as Ramdas Athavale, Mahadeo Jankar and Raju Shetti.
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