Shiv Sena chief, while insisting it was courtesy call, said demonetisation, political scenario was discussed.
Nagpur: In a first, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur in a move that has raised eyebrows in political circles. It was the first meeting between the two at RSS’ headquarters.
Mr Thackeray expressed his concern about the demonetisation decision by the Narendra Modi government to Bhagwat. The Sena has remained critical about demonetisation since the beginning and even led a protest to the President’s Raj Bhavan along with Trinamool Congress’ Mamata Banerjee.
Mr Thackeray who arrived in Nagpur this morning went straight to the RSS headquarters where he met Mr Bhagwat. Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray was also present during the meeting. The meeting lasted for an hour. After the meeting Mr Thackeray said, “It was a courtesy visit. We wanted to meet for a long time. I met him this morning at Nitin Gadkari’s daughter’s wedding and expressed a wish to meet him. He agreed to meet me and invited me to the RSS headquarters,” Mr Thackeray briefly told the media while refusing to divulge more details. When asked if he talked about demonetisation, Mr Thackeray said, “All are suffering due to it. We also spoke about the political scenario.” Later, Union home minister Rajnath Singh also met Mr Bhagwat at the RSS headquarters.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in the evening said that the Sena was critical about the implementation of the demonetisation and not the actual decision. “Uddhav Thackeray has said people should not be affected. We (BJP and Sena) are working together on the issue so that people do not suffer,” Mr Fadnavis said. However, a BJP leader said on condition of anonymity that the party was not aware about the Sena chief’s meeting with Mr Bhagwat. The meeting between the two also assumes significance as the Winter Session of the state legislature is beginning Monday at Nagpur. The Opposition has decided to attack the government on demonetisation. It would be interesting to see if Sena joins the Opposition in criticising the move.
Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil has criticised Mr Thackeray for the meeting. “Uddhav is known to take U-turns on issues whether it is demonetisation or something else. People do not trust him anymore,” Mr Vikhe-Patil said.