Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s decision to attend the swearing-in ceremony of his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi has put the BJP’s ally Shiv Sena, in a quandary.
The Sena is the second largest constituent of the National Democratic Alliance and has relentlessly opposed ties with Pakistan.
Last week, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had told the BJP that he is against Indo-Pak cricket ties. In the past, the party has voiced its opposition to Pakistani artists performing in India.
While Mr. Thackeray has not issued a statement, sources say he is uncomfortable with Sena MPs, who will be includede in the Cabinet, taking an oath in front of Mr. Sharif.
“The decision is taken by them (the BJP). We were not the part of it. We would have opposed had they asked us,” a senior Sena leader told The Hindu. The sources said that the decision as whether the Sena MPs will be included in the cabinet on May 26 is yet to be taken.
The BJP however had few words of advice for the Sena. “If they (Thackerays) can call Javed Miandad at their home, then what’s wrong in inviting Mr. Sharif?” asked Madhav Bhandari, party’s chief spokesperson for the state. Mr. Miandad had visited Matoshree, the residence of Mr. Thackeray in 1999, just after the Kargil war.
The BJP leader said that the decisions with respect to foreign policies have to be taken irrespective of regional equations.