Modi can lose Shiv Sena support: Thackeray

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi would lose the Shiv Sena's support if he pressed for the relaxation of visa procedures for Pakistanis wanting to visit the Ajmer dargah in Rajasthan, party chief Bal Thackeray said Thursday.

"If he (Modi) errs, we shall not support him. I will not allow my country and Hindutva to be sullied by this," Thackeray said, referring to the Bharatiya Janata Party leader's demand.

Thackeray's comments were published Thursday in the final instalment of a three-part marathon interview in the Hindi newspaper Dopahar ka Saamna.

Though Modi is considered the "strongman" of Gujarat, Thackeray said that once "air fills somebody's head", it was natural that he would stray from his path.

The Shiv Sena chief said he had earlier supported Modi when some people in the BJP were opposing him. He had also told senior BJP leader L.K. Advani that Gujarat would "out of BJP's hands" if Modi were to go.

On Sep 23, Modi is reported to have told a convention of the Indian Association of Tour Operators that visas procedures should be relaxed for Pakistanis who wanted to pray at the Ajmer shrine.

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