Maharashtra CM gives in, invites Uddhav Thackeray to share dais with Narendra Modi
Prestige becomes new twist in BJP-Sena tussle
Uddhav Thackeray and Devendra Fadnavis
Uddhav Thackeray has been officially invited to the foundation stone laying ceremony of Shivaji Maharaj memorial this Saturday. The Shiv Sena chief has accepted the invitation and will share the dais with PM Modi.
Government sources said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis personally extended an invitation to the Sena chief. Sena leaders had said he would attend the function only if the method of invitation and the seating arrangement did not compromise on Uddhav’s honour.
Minister Chandrakant Patil and BJP leader Vinod Tawde were at Uddhav's residence this morning to invite him as the CM's representatives.
The Sena had boycotted the foundation laying ceremony of the Ambedkar memorial in October last year because Uddhav was denied a seat on the dais with the PM.
But, government protocol may not allow Uddhav a seat next to the PM. “Protocol can be altered, or the PM may even ask that Uddhav be seated next to him,” hoped a senior government official. Along with Uddhav, the CM has tried to placate NCP workers in Pune by inviting Sharad Pawar to the Metro bhoomipujan in Pune. Pawar, too, has been extended a formal invitation by the CM.
The NCP-led Pune Municipal Corporation had threatened to perform the bhoomipujan a day before the PM’s function if the party boss was not invited.
In Mumbai, Modi will kick off work on the Shivaji memorial in the Arabian Sea, two new Metro corridors and the trans-harbour link.
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