Modi invites Sena MPs for tea, Uddhav does not get call

“The invitation was extended only to MPs who are part of the NDA. So there is no question of Uddhavji attending and nothing should be read into it," Sena leader Anant Geete said.

October 24, 2014 08:05 pm | Updated November 28, 2021 09:13 pm IST - MUMBAI

With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena taking tentative steps towards a reunion after a bitter parting prior to the Maharashtra Assembly election, the former is ensuring that it calls the shots at every turn and keeps the Sena on tenterhooks.

While the Sena MPs have been invited for tea with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Sunday, no separate invitation has been extended to party chief Uddhav Thackeray. Sena leader and Union Minister Anant Geete confirmed that Mr. Thackeray would not attend the tea.

“The invitation was extended only to MPs who are part of the National Democratic Alliance. So there is no question of Uddhavji attending and nothing should be read into it,” Mr. Geete said.

Mr. Modi will visit Mumbai on Saturday, but has only one engagement. No meeting with the Sena has been scheduled.

The two parties are expected to hold formal talks next week, but the BJP’s strategy seems to be to wear the Sena down, so it agrees to come on board without demands. “We are keen on an alliance with the Sena, but it should not set any conditions,” senior BJP leader Vinod Tawde said.

The Sena had initially hoped for the redeployment of the 1995 formula reached between the two parties to form the government, which meant that as a junior partner, it would get an almost equal share of Cabinet berths and the key portfolios such as Home, Finance and Irrigation. Now, the best it is hoping for is 14 berths for itself and 28 for the BJP. But even that may not be forthcoming.

When the Sena flew two key leaders to Delhi earlier this week to call on the BJP leaders, they did not get to meet the brass. Instead, they were granted an audience with Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and Chandrakant Patil, MLC. The significance of it has not been lost on the Sena. “We should not have crumbled. It has hurt our image. Now it looks like we are willing to settle for anything,” a senior party leader said.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.