MUMBAI: Hoping to repair the severely strained relations between the two alliance partners, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah will call on Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday, party sources said on Tuesday.
This will be the second summit between Shah and Thackeray. The first took place exactly a year ago when the BJP chief called on the Sena supremo in June 2017 to seek his support in the Presidential election.
The meeting is officially described as part of an outreach programme by the BJP to mollify its allies and build bridges before the 2019 parliamentary battle.
The BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been bitterly targeted by Thackeray and his party in recent times.
The meeting will come a couple of days after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis exhorted his party workers to work hard for an alliance with the Sena.
The relations between the two partners plummeted to a new low when Shiv Sena 'hijacked' Shriniwas Vanga - the son of late BJP MP Chintaman Vanga from Palghar - and gave him the party ticket for the May 28 Palghar Lok Sabha bypolls.
A raging BJP inducted former Congressman Rajendra Gavit, who defeated Vanga.
In a guarded initial reaction, Sena MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut pointed out how the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners were not satisfied with the BJP and leaving it one by one.
But he refused to speculate whether the Sena would reconsider its oft-repeated stance of going solo in all future elections and pointed out that the party did extremely well and showed its strength in Palghar which it contested for the first time ever.