Shah reaches out to Thackeray, says BJP-Sena will unitedly fight 2019 polls

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah, currently trying to reach out to miffed allies after the recent reverses in by-polls, on Wednesday met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai. He also claimed that BJP-Sena alliance will unitedly fight the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. There was no confirmation from the Sena.

As part of his ongoing “sampark for samarthan”, or "contact for support", initiative to meet eminent citizens, Shah also met industrialist Ratan Tata, singer Lata Mangeshkar and actor Madhuri Dixit. On Thursday, Shah is scheduled to be in Chandigarh to meet athletics legend Milkha Singh and hockey legend Balbir Singh Senior. He has already met former Army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag, former cricketer Kapil Dev and Patanjali’s Ramdev.

The Sena and BJP have had tense relations in recent times. The Sena has also already declared that it will go alone in the 2019 general elections. It contested against the BJP candidate in the Palghar Lok Sabah by-election on May 28.

The BJP is also reaching out to its other allies. Shah is slated to meet Shiromani Akali Dal leadership on his visit to Chandigarh. The NDA in Bihar will also have meeting in Patna on Thursday.

Shah, accompanied by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, met Thackeray at the latter's residence Matoshree. After facing defeat in the Palghar bypolls at the hands of the BJP, the Sena said its senior ally was now its "biggest political enemy".

In Patna, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan dismissed speculation about a rift within the NDA in Bihar over the issue of seat-sharing for next year's Lok Sabha polls and asserted that the BJP-led coalition was "intact" in the state.

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