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Wed, 12 Mar 2014 01:00:00 GMT | By PTI

Modi calls Uddhav, says Sena a trusted ally of BJP

BJP in damage control mode as Narendra Modi speaks to Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray over telephone; exercise comes after Sena miffed with Nitin Gadkari meeting MNS chief Raj Thackeray


Modi calls Uddhav, says Sena a trusted ally of BJP (© Reuters)

Mumbai: In a damage control exercise, BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Tuesday night spoke to Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray amid fissures in the saffron alliance over BJP's overtures to MNS.

Modi phoned Uddhav and discussed the current situation, party sources said.

Shiv Sena is fuming after senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari met MNS President Raj Thackeray, Uddhav's arch rival in Maharashtra, reportedly to persuade the latter to help in avoiding a split in the saffron votes in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The hush hush meeting took place in a hotel here last week.

Modi's phone call came after senior BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy met Uddhav here Tuesday evening.

"Modi told Uddhav that Shiv Sena is the oldest and trusted ally of BJP," a senior Sena leader told PTI.

Modi sought to allay apprehension over the current development, the leader added.

Talking to reporters after meeting Uddhav at the latter's residence at suburban Bandra, Rudy said all was well with the Sena BJP alliance.

"Shiv Sena has been our old ally. It has been an integral part of NDA," Rudy said.

To a query on Uddhav's statement earlier in the day seeking to know who was BJP's leader in Maharashtra, Rudy said "It is my belief that the state unit president (Devendra Fadnavis) is our leader here. There is nothing surprising or controversial in this."

Rudy also said Uddhav had a "satisfactory" telephonic talk with BJP President Rajnath Singh on the current situation.

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