For the first time in nearly three months, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray amidst protests by some Sena activists at Bal Thackeray’s memorial here.
Fadnavis with over half a dozen of his cabinet ministers and several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders arrived at the Thackeray memorial in Shivaji Park and paid homage to the late Sena founder-patriarch.
He laid a wreath at the memorial, paid homage and then walked over to the small marquee where Uddhav sat since morning along with his family members.
As Uddhav stood up, Fadnavis greeted him, warmly shook hands and sat beside him. The duo – belonging to parties which were allies for 25 years before they split Sep 25 – spoke for a few minutes before Fadnavis left.
“Bal Thackeray has been an inspiring force for us for years. His blessings have always been with us. There cannot be anybody like him ever. We have decided to set up a full-fledged memorial befitting his stature in Mumbai,” Fadnavis announced.
He added that leaders of all political parties, including the Sena chief Uddhav, would be consulted before the details are finalized by a high-level committee headed by the state chief secretary.
Whie the chief minister and his ministerial colleagues paid homage and later met Uddhav, some Sena activists raised anti-BJP slogans and ranted “Fadnavis, go back”. They were largely ignored.