(Clubbing related stories in BOM file) Mumbai, Jun 8 (PTI) The ruling Shiv Sena and the NCP on Tuesday ruled out any threat to the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government saying it will complete the five-year term, soon after a one-on-one meeting between Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi caused a flutter in political circles.
Senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said nothing was surprising if Thackeray, as a CM, met the prime minister separately.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and Maharashtra NCP president Jayant Patil separately said the MVA government, comprising the Sena, NCP and Congress, will complete its five-year tenure.
Patil said there was nothing to be 'afraid' about a separate meeting between Thackeray and the PM, as political leaders, including Sharad Pawar, maintain such cordial relations cutting across the party lines.
Speaking to reporters, Fadnavis said politics generally starts few months before the elections and one cannot stop it, 'while on other days, coordination between the state and the Centre helps the state'.
Admitting that he met the PM separately, Thackeray said there was nothing wrong in having such interaction, adding sarkily that he had not gone to meet Pakistani leader Nawaz Sharif.
Earlier in the day, Thackeray, accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar and senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan, met the prime minister and discussed issues related to the Maratha reservation, pending GST compensation and the proposed Metro carshed in Kanjurmarg.
'Though I am not sure whether such one-on-one meeting took place between Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there is nothing to get surprised even if we assume that such a meeting has taken place,' Fadnavis, who is the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, told reporters.
The BJP leader said when he was chief minister of Maharashtra, the PM used to discuss various issues with him separately.
'When I used to meet the prime minister with a delegation, he used to talk with them for 5 to 10 minutes.
The PM later used to discuss issues concerning the state with me separately for 15-20 minutes,' he said.
The Shiv Sena-BJP alliance crumbled in 2019 over the issue of chief ministership. Sena, which was one of the oldest allies of the BJP, later formed an unlikely alliance with the NCP and Congress to form the MVA government in Maharashtra.
'I welcome such a meeting with the prime minister.
They help in developing coordination between the Centre and the state. We have always maintained that the state should maintain good relations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi,' Fadnavis said.
Queried about the chances of Thackeray and the PM setting aside their political differences, Fadnavis said, 'Politics generally starts few months before the elections and one cannot stop it. On other days, coordination between the state and the Centre helps the state. If a proper role is played at right time, Maharashtra will benefit for sure'.
Raut told reporters that PM Narendra Modi has listened to CM Uddhav Thackeray, deputy CM Ajit Pawar and Congress leader Ashok Chavan about various issues concerning the state.
'There will be some definitive decision in coming days,' he said when asked about the meeting between the Thackeray-led delegation and the PM.
Jayant Patil echoed Raut.
'Our commitment is to serve for five years and we will complete that tenure. There is nothing to be afraid of about a separate meeting that took place between chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There is no threat to the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra,' Patil, who heads the Water Resources Department, said.
He said a cordial relationship between the chief minister and the prime minister is good for Maharashtra.
'Though our political stands are different, we maintain a cordial relationship with leaders of other political parties.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar maintains such relations. Sometimes controversies happen. There is nothing new about it,' he said.
Patil said he criticises many BJP leaders and policies of the saffron party, 'but on the personal level, we are cordial with each other'. PTI ND NSK NSK