Maharashtra BJP leaders meet Bal Thackeray

Mumbai: Senior Maharashtra BJP leaders today met Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, in the backdrop of BJP president Nitin Gadkari taking offence at the language used to describe his party`s leaders in Sena mouthpiece `Saamana`.

Blaming `Saamana` editor Sanjay Raut, Gadkari had recently said such writings were causing rift between the BJP-Shiv Sena`s three-decade-old alliance.

Those who met Thackeray at his suburban Bandra residence Matoshri today included state BJP president Sudhir Mungantiwar, Gopinath Munde, leader of opposition in Assembly Eknath Khadse and his counterpart in Council Vinod Tawde.

Munde told reporters after the meeting that the BJP leaders had come to Matoshri to "congratulate Balasaheb for the Sena-BJP-RPI alliance`s success" in the recent BMC polls.

Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut, whom Gadkari had blamed for creating a rift through his writings in `Saamana`, told reporters that Thackeray and Gadkari would be meeting after the UP elections. "The type of language that is used for BJP leaders in Saamana is not good for the success of the BJP-Sena alliance in the future," Gadkari had said in a TV interview.

Gadkari had also said he had no way of communicating with Thackeray because his phone calls were not passed on to the Sena supremo. Munde said the Nashik municipal corporation issue did not figure in today`s talks.

The MNS, which has emerged as the single largest party with 40 members in 122-member house, is struggling to garner much-needed support of 22 corporators to wrest administrative control of the Nashik corporation.

Amid reports that Nashik may see an MNS-BJP tie-up, Mungantiwar recently indicated that BJP, which has 19 seats there, would discuss the issue with Sena leadership.

BJP and Sena, which got 14 seats, fought the Nashik poll separately while they had alliance in nine municipal corporations which also went to polls on February 16.