"Government Strong," Says Sena MP As Uddhav Thackeray, Sharad Pawar Meet
Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and NCP chief Sharad Pawar met on Monday evening amid reports of a rift between the state's ruling allies over the coronavirus crisis and a lockdown exit strategy for the state worst hit by the pandemic in India.
As the two leaders met at the Chief Minister's Mumbai home Matoshree, speculation intensified on a strain in their ties over Mr Pawar's suggestion that Maharashtra should reopen gradually and emerge from the indefinite shutdown to revive economic activities.
Mr Pawar, reports suggest, has been unhappy at Mr Thackeray's reluctance to end the lockdown and actively explore his suggestions.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut confirmed the meeting and tweeted that there was "no need to worry about the stability of the government".
"Sharad Pawar and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray met at Matoshri yesterday evening. The two leaders had a discussion for an hour and a half. If anyone is spreading news about the stability of the government, it is their stomach ache. The government is strong. No worries. Jai Maharashtra!!" - the tweet by Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena MP, was aimed at putting a lid on talk of a feud.
Hours before his talks with the Chief Minister, Mr Pawar had met with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
NCP leader Praful Patel, who accompanied Mr Pawar to that meeting, asserted that it was "just a courtesy meet".
"It was only a courtesy meeting between Pawar saheb and honourable Governor, we went there just to have a cup of tea. Governor Saheb had invited Pawar Saheb for a tea. We were there just for courtesy there was no politics involved in this meet," said Mr Patel, a former union minister.
In the middle of this turmoil, BJP leader Narayan Rane also met the Governor, demanding the President's Rule in the state, alleging that the Shiv Sena-led coalition government had failed to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.
(Input from ndtv.com)