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Put up a united fight, Uddhav, Fadnavis tell MLAs over dinner

Days after announcing an alliance, the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders are trying to get its ground-level workers to cooperate with each other for the general elections to win more seats than 2014 (41 of 48 seats).

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis hosted a dinner for BJP and Sena legislators on Monday evening at his official residence, Varsha, which was attended by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and his son and Sena leader Aaditya. Fadnavis and Thackeray addressed legislators of both the parties.

According to a Sena legislator, Fadnavis said any criticism of either party is a criticism of the alliance. “The crux of the speech was everybody has to work together. We have been asked to spread the word about the government’s schemes. The CM said state-level workers should come together to tell people about the good policies,” said the Sena legislator. The chief minister spoke for about 15 minutes, where he expressed confidence that the alliance will come back to power at the Centre and in the state.

Thackeray, in his address to the legislators, said they have come together for the common cause of Hindutva. “He said that if people with opposing views can come together, then why can’t like-minded people join hands? This is the saffron year,” said the legislator . The CM said that apart from the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, the Sena and BJP will also contest local polls in alliance. Over the past five years, both parties have fought local polls against each other.

Fadnavis took on the Congress-NCP alliance and said the Opposition has realised the election was “slipping away from their hands”. The chief minister stressed the need to connect with farmers in rural Maharashtra.

In his brief speech, Aaditya praised the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat Yojana, saying maximum people should get the benefit.

First Published:
Feb 26, 2019 00:17 IST

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