Mumbai: NCP president Sharad Pawar on Tuesday (June 29) met Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray amid speculation in state political circles over differences in Maharashtra's ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance.
The meeting came amid rumours that Shiv Sena is considering a patch-up with the BJP, its ally of 35 years. Pawar drove to Varsha, the chief minister's official bungalow in the posh Malabar Hill area in south Mumbai and had a lengthy discussion with Thackeray, sources said.
The meeting comes ahead of the two-day monsoon session of the state legislature, slated here from July 5. Shiv Sena on Tuesday issued a whip to party legislators to attend the entire two-day proceedings. There have been differing voices among MVA partners over handling of issues like Maratha quota and OBC reservations. Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole recently said the alliance with the Sena has an expiry date and in the next polls, his party will fly solo.
Thackeray had taken a dig at the grand old party saying people would beat with footwear those who talk of contesting elections alone without offering solutions to people's problems. Pawar recently expressed confidence that the MVA government in Maharashtra, which came to power in 2019, will complete its full term and had praised ally Shiv Sena, saying it is the party which one can trust.
His remarks had come against the backdrop of the one-on-one meeting between Thackeray and PM Narendra Modi in Delhi and Pawar's meeting with BJP leader and former CM Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai earlier this month.
Pawar had also said the MVA will do well in the next Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, indicating the three parties may contest the 2024 polls together.