NCP President Sharad Pawar met Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday (June 29), amid speculation in state political circles about differences in Maharashtra’s ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance.
The meeting took place amid reports that the Shiv Sena is considering a reconciliation with the BJP, its 35-year ally. According to sources, Pawar drove to Varsha, the chief minister’s official bungalow in the posh Malabar Hill area of south Mumbai, and had a lengthy discussion with Thackeray.
The meeting comes ahead of the state legislature’s two-day monsoon session, which begins here on July 5. The Shiv Sena issued a whip to party legislators on Tuesday, requiring them to attend the entire two-day session. MVA partners have had differing opinions on how to handle issues such as Maratha quotas and OBC reservations. Nana Patole, the chief of the Maharashtra Congress, recently stated that the alliance with the Sena has expired and that his party will run alone in the upcoming elections.
Thackeray had made a dig at the grand old party, saying that those who talk about contesting elections alone without offering solutions to people’s problems would be beaten with footwear. Pawar recently expressed confidence that Maharashtra’s MVA government, which came to power in 2019, will serve out its full term, and praised ally Shiv Sena, saying it is the party one can trust.
His remarks came in the aftermath of Thackeray’s one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi and Pawar’s earlier this month meeting with BJP leader and former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai.
Pawar also stated that the MVA will perform well in the upcoming Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, implying that the three parties may run together in the 2024 elections.