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Shah visits Thackeray memorial, to meet Uddhav on Sunday

Published On : 17 Jun 2017   |  Reported By : Courtesy : The Hindu   |  Pic On: Ronida Mumbai

Mumbai (The Hindu): In an apparent bid to rebuild bridges with the Shiv Sena ahead of the presidential election, BJP national president Amit Shah paid floral tributes to Sena founder Bal Thackeray at the memorial to him.

Mr. Shah, who began his three-day visit to the State in Mumbai on Friday, headed straight to Shivaji Park, where the memorial has been installed. At Shivaji Park, Mr. Shah also paid floral tribute to Chhatrapati Shivaji, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Veer Savarkar.

Political observers are attaching special significance to Mr. Shah’s gesture, as it comes days after the Sena warned of taking an independent stand on backing a candidate in the presidential election. Mr. Shah’s earlier visit to Mumbai as BJP president did not include a trip to Shivaji Park. This time, he will also be visiting Thackeray residence Matoshree on Sunday to meet Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.

The BJP chief’s upcoming meeting with Mr. Thackeray will be against a backdrop of repeated attacks by the Sena against the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a host of issues, including the army’s surgical strike, farm loan waivers and talk of a possible snap Assembly poll in Maharashtra. The Sena had backed Congress’s presidential nominees Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee against official NDA candidates in the last two elections.

He interacted with select editors and is scheduled to formally address the media on Saturday. He also met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BJP ministers, party MPs, MLAs and State unit office-bearers. He is expected to meet the State unit’s core committee members on Saturday at Vasant Smriti, the BJP’s office in Dadar.

On Sunday, he will attend a meeting connected to the birth centenary year celebrations for Deendayal Upadhyaya, a prominent leader in the BJP’s forerunner Bharatiya Jana Sangh. He will also review the progress of various programmes aimed at strengthening the party at the booth level.

Mr. Shah’s visit is part of his extensive tour of various States to expand the BJP’s footprint. So far, he has visited 10 States, party sources said.

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