Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Feb 5 (ANI): In an apparent bid to placate Shiv Sena, poll strategist and JD(U) leader Prashant Kishor on Tuesday met Uddhav Thackeray, chief of the disgruntled NDA ally, in Mumbai and said he looked forward to the party joining hands with the BJP-led coalition in Maharashtra for victory in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
JD (U) led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is an ally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) of which Shiv Sena is also a part. Though Shiv Sena has always been critical to the BJP.
Thanking the Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aaditya Thackeray for their hospitality, Kishor tweeted: "Thank you for your warm hospitality Uddhav ji and @AUThackeray. As part of NDA, we look forward to joining forces with you in Maharashtra to help secure victory in upcoming Lok Sabha elections & beyond. @nitishkumar"
Thank you for your warm hospitality Uddhav ji and @AUThackeray.— Prashant Kishor (@PrashantKishor) February 5, 2019
As part of NDA, we look forward to joining forces with you in Maharashtra to help secure victory in upcoming Lok Sabha elections & beyond. @nitishkumar https://t.co/I1F2JFlvAS
Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday chaired a meeting with 21 MPs and senior leaders to elicit their views on a possible pre-poll alliance with the BJP in Maharashtra for the upcoming General Elections.
However, senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut earlier in the day termed the meeting with Kishor as a "courtesy meeting" and claimed that the strategy was not discussed as the Shiv Sena forms its own poll strategy.
"Prashant Kishor is a vice-president of JD (U). This was a courtesy meeting and not a political visit. JD (U) is a part of NDA just like the Shiv Sena. A discussion took place which will go forward. Just wait and watch," Raut said after meeting Kishor in Mumbai.
Earlier, there had been speculation that the Shiv Sena might go solo in the Lok Sabha elections.
The meeting on Tuesday came after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on January 28 asserted that the BJP is not "helpless."
The Chief Minister's comment came after Raut once told reporters that his party will continue to be the "big brother" in any alliance.
"BJP is not helpless. Yes, we want alliance but for the development of the nation. Don't want the power to go to the hands of the people who looted the nation for long. We're trying to get into an alliance but we are not helpless. BJP is the party which reached 200 from two," said Fadnavis.
Shiv Sena, which is part of the BJP-led governments at the Centre as well as in the state, has been bitter with the BJP lately. At the party's national executive meet here in January last year, the Shiv Sena had resolved to fight the General and Assembly elections on its own.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP and the Shiv Sena contested as alliance partners and won 41 seats out of a total of 48 at stake in the state. BJP had won 22 seats, while the Shiv Sena 19. However, they contested the subsequent Assembly polls separately. (ANI)