Mumbai, Mar 5 (PTI) : Shiv Sena today called Nitin Gadkari an astute “businessman” adept at setting up deals after the BJP leader reached out to rival MNS Chief Raj Thackeray and it also ruled out expanding the Opposition’s grand alliance.
Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, who is said to be upset over the recent meeting between Gadkari and Raj, targeted the former BJP President in an editorial of his party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
“Gadkari is so skilled that without offering any ‘dakshina’ (money offered for one’s services) to the MNS chief, he has sought his support.
There is no doubt in the mind of the people of Maharashtra that Gadkari is an adept businessman. In the field of politics also, he has developed a skill to get whatever he wants without investing any capital,” Uddhav was quoted as saying in ‘Saamana’.
Gadkari, who enjoys a good rapport with Raj, had met him at a suburban five-star hotel two days back, triggering speculation that BJP was trying to win over the MNS chief into NDA for upcoming elections even as he said there was no reason for Shiv Sena to be annoyed by his meeting with Raj.
“Gadkari asked the MNS chief not to field MNS nominees to avoid division in vote against Congress, which may harm Narendra Modi’s chances of becoming the Prime Minister,” Uddhav said.
“If Gadkari has such reservations, then it may also arise questions in the mind of common people whether the Modi wave is really strong enough.
“Modi is a strong leader and he has created a storm. There is a strong wave in favour of Modi not only there in Maharashtra, but in the entire country and Shiv Sena is strongly behind him. The Mahayuti (the five-party opposition alliance including Sena, BJP) has entered into the fray to win as many seats to support Modi become the Prime Minister,” he said.
“If Modi is great, the people of Maharashtra will wholeheartedly vote for him. Therefore, nobody should be concerned about the division of votes,” Uddhav added.
Uddhav separately told reporters that the issue of forming an alliance with new parties is closed for Shiv Sena.
“The issue of forming an alliance with new parties is closed for us. The election programme has been announced. The battle has begun. We will only win this battle,” he said, adding, that he would be soon meeting the senior BJP leader.
“There is a good mood in ‘Mahayuti’ (grand alliance of BJP-SS-RPI-RSP-SSS). Party cadres have started working hard.
Therefore, people should not feel confused (over the meeting between Raj and Gadkari),” he said.