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If Pak doesn’t behave, then Sena points to N-button

Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi with Shiv Sena party president Uddhav Thackeray. File photo

Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi with Shiv Sena party president Uddhav Thackeray. File photo

The Shiv Sena has decided to attend Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi’s oath-taking ceremony on Monday despite its misgivings about Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s presence at the event. The party said Mr. Modi might have to press the nuclear button if Pakistan's tail remained crooked.

“All the Shiv Sena MPs will be present at the ceremony. We will be taking a flight to Delhi in the morning,” confirmed newly elected MP Vinayak Raut on Sunday. Party chief Uddhav Thackeray will also attend the ceremony. The Shiv Sena’s Anant Geete is expected to get a cabinet berth in the newly formed Union Cabinet.

In a statement issued on Sunday night, Mr Thackeray said, “Till now only India has tried to forget the past and extend the hand of friendship towards Pakistan. It is difficult to have faith in Pakistan. Since we have faith in Mr Modi’s strong leadership, we don’t want to obstruct this. But if after all this, Pakistan’s tail remains crooked, then Modi will have to press the nuclear button in his hand.”

The Shiv Sena, the second largest constituent of the NDA, was in bind about attending the ceremony since it has always taken a strong position against Pakistan. In its first meeting with the BJP after the Lok Sabha results came in, the Shiv Sena had spoken out against Indo-Pak cricket ties.

However, BJP sources said Mr Thackeray did not want to make this an issue ahead of cabinet formation. “The Shiv Sena decided not to offend Mr Modi at this crucial juncture. They would have risked being excluded from the Union Cabinet. It was conveyed to them that the BJP would not have taken kindly to their absence. So they decided to look at the larger picture,” said a senior BJP leader.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 11:47:32 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states//article60075004.ece