Uddhav Thackeray non-committal in response to Sharad Pawar's appeal to form a Grand Alliance against BJP in 2019 polls

Mumbai: A day after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar appealed to all "like-minded" parties to build a common platform to fight the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) in 2019 polls, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Monday said "they shall see".

File image of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray. PTI

File image of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray. PTI

However, after news channels played up his remarks saying 'Thackeray has indicated that he would consider Pawar's offer to join the Mahagathbandhan', the Sena chief issued a clarification stating he had made the remarks in a lighter vein to get rid of reporters.

Thackeray termed the reports attributed to him as "totally false".

"Some private news channels have exaggerated my comments," a clarification issued by Sena quoted Thackeray as saying.

The Sena said when Thackeray was leaving after attending a meeting of Sena workers on upcoming legislative council elections at Rangasharda hall in Bandra, he spotted some reporters from electronic media who were blocking his path while seeking his reaction on Pawar's remarks.

The Sena president initially said that it was not right to talk while on the move and that he would speak later, according to the clarification.

"However, the media persons from private news channels stood in Thackeray's path and insisted on his reaction. To get rid of them Thackeray said in a jest that 'let offers come from everyone then we will see' and walked away," it said.

Sena said some news channels began flashing news that Thackeray had stated that he would consider the NCP chief's offer of joining the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance).

"The news is totally false and Thackeray has no intentions to this effect (to accept Pawar's proposal),"the Sena said.

Speaking about building a common platform against the BJP before 2019 polls, the NCP chief on Monday said in Pune, "All like-minded parties should come together. The NCP has already taken a lead to reach out to such parties".

Pawar also said that he was appealing to "all the like-minded parties barring the BJP" to approach Chief Election Commissioner for discarding Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and bringing back the old system (of paper ballot).

However, Pawar didn't take name of Shiv Sena.

The Sena, a bickering constituent of the BJP-led NDA government, has been repeately saying that the party would contest the upcoming polls on its own strength.

A day after Amit Shah called on Thackeray at the latter's residence in Mumbai on 6 June, Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said his party's decision to contest the next Lok Sabha elections solo cannot be changed by the BJP president.

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Updated Date: Jun 12, 2018 11:06:29 IST

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