Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the top leader of the country and the Bharatiya Janata Party, said senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday. His statement came days after Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray held a one-to-one meeting with Modi in Delhi, reigniting the talks of a possible patch-up between the old allies.
Responding to a question on whether he felt that Modi's popularity is on a downslide as media reports suggested that RSS is contemplating to project state leaders as the face in the state elections, Raut said: "I don't want to comment on this...I don't go by the media reports. There is no official statement about this... The BJP owes its success to Narendra Modi in the last seven years and currently he is the top leader of the country and his party.”
Raut, while speaking to reporters at Jalgaon in north Maharashtra, added the Sena’s stand has always been that a prime minister belongs to the entire country and not a particular party.
Earlier, Thackeray’s one-to-one meeting with Modi on Tuesday had set tongues wagging in political circles with many pointing out the softened approach the Maharashtra party has been adopting towards its longest alley for quite some time.
Thackeray, however, said there was nothing wrong in having such interaction, adding that he had not gone to meet Pakistani leader Nawaz Sharif.
"The Chief Minister's Delhi visit was not for political reasons. Those who see politics in it.....let them be happy with their thinking. There will be a lot of speculations over this meeting. We only hope that Maharashtra''s pending issues with the Centre get resolved soon," the Sena mouthpiece Saamana said in the editorial.
Both Sena and BJP severed their ties over power-sharing disagreements after winning the 2019 Assembly election.