Amid strained BJP-Shiv Sena ties in Maharashtra, Sharad Pawar says Uddhav Thackeray met him to seek advice

Amid the frayed relationship between the Shiv Sena and BJP in Maharashtra, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar said that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and spokesperson Sanjay Raut recently approached him to seek his advice on the state of politics in Maharashtra.

"Uddhav Thackeray met me at my Mumbai residence ten days ago," Pawar told reporters on Tuesday at Chintan Shivir, a two-day event organised by NCP in Karjat.

Pawar said that Thackeray reached out to him to seek advice against the backdrop of a saffron surge in Maharashtra Assembly.

File image of NCP chief Sharad Pawar. PTI

File image of NCP chief Sharad Pawar. PTI

He told reporters that he told the Shiv Sena chief to take a call on their alliance, after which Pawar would also take a decision on behalf of his party.

Pawar confirmed that his party would not align with either Shiv Sena or BJP in the state. With this statement, the NCP chief dropped hint of a possible alliance with Congress for the 2019 Assembly election.

Sources close to Pawar told Firstpost that Thackeray is ratcheting up his anti-BJP activities by meeting with those who are antagonistic towards the party.

The Shiv Sena leader had recently also met Mamata Banejee, which the party dubbed as a 'courtesy call' and rubbished suggestions that the meeting had any political agenda.

Sena has been increasingly vocal about their criticism of its ally in power at the state. Last week, it released a booklet titled Ghotalebaaz BJP (Scamster BJP), which listed all the scams that have reportedly taken place under the Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra.

On Monday, NCP leader Praful Patel had asserted at the same event that NCP would not join hands with BJP, even if the Shiv Sena walked out.

Patel, a close confidant of Pawar, also said the NCP chief could become prime minister in 2019.

Updated Date: Nov 07, 2017 19:09 PM

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