Mumbai: After months of bitter exchanges, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are spending an evening together as the PM is attending two events in Mumbai. The Chief Minister received the Prime Minister at INS Shikra, the naval heliport in Colaba. From there the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister drove to Raj Bhavan for the first event where they shared the stage together.
The PM inaugurated the Jal Bhushan Building and Gallery of Revolutionaries at the Raj Bhawan.
“The inauguration of the Gallery of Revolutionaries by PM Modi is an auspicious occasion, it’s a great thing. It’s our duty to keep the stories of our freedom struggle alive and it will be instrumental in telling our coming generations about what happened at that time. The gallery is a pilgrimage with information about those who sacrificed for the country,” Chief Minister Thackeray said at the inauguration.
The Prime Minister and the Chief Minister will drive to the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) where they will attend the second event together. The Mumbai Police have put out traffic advisories as the VIP movement is likely to hit traffic movement in the city. The PM departs for New Delhi after the event at BKC, a business district in the suburbs.
Relations between the two leaders worsened after the Sena parted ways and joined hands with the Nationalist Congress Party and Congress to form a government in Maharashtra. Since then, the Maharashtra Chief Minister has taken swipes at the BJP on various occasions. On April 25 this year, Uddhav Thackeray skipped an event in Mumbai where Prime Minister Modi was conferred with the first Lata Mangeshkar award. The Chief Minister chose to pay a visit to 83-year-old Chandrabhaga Shinde, who became a face of Shiv Sena protests against Independent MP Navneet Rana and her husband Ravi Rana in the Hanuman Chalisa row. The Sena later alleged that the Chief Minister had not been invited in spite of sharing a warm relationship with the Mangeshkar family.
The Chief Minister attending the events which the Prime Minister is attending is being seen as a thaw between the two personalities and comes a week after the Chief Minister’s sharp attack on the BJP over comments made by now suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma. This also comes in the backdrop of reports that the Sena is upset with the NCP over the defeat of its second candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections. However, both parties say that the Chief Minister receiving the Prime Minister is a matter of protocol and all is well within the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
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