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No talk on future strategy in Thackeray-Pawar meeting: Joshi
December 24, 2007 16:38 IST
The Shiv Sena on Monday said that the 'much speculated' meeting between the party supremo Bal Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar [Images] in Mumbai on Sunday was not held to discuss any 'future strategy'.
"The two leaders are old friends and they met after a long time," senior Shiv Sena leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Manohar Joshi told reporters in Mumbai.
"Nothing more should be read into the meeting," he added.
Asked if there was a likelihood of the two parties coming together, Joshi said, "The Sena will never leave Hindutva. We are committed to Hindutva."
The meeting's timing became important in the backdrop of former Sena leader Narayan Rane's criticism of Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, and it becoming clear that the Congress had failed to stop Narendra Modi [Images] from retaining power in Gujarat.
However, Joshi refrained from making any reference to Rane's outburst against Deshmukh, saying the meeting was not held "just because some issue had cropped up".
"Political discussion on other topics also takes place during such meetings and discussion on several issues took place between the two leaders," Joshi, who spoke to Thackeray on Sunday night, said.
Asked about the future course of action for Rane, Joshi said, "If he has any self-respect, he should resign from the Deshmukh ministry."
"He can join any party," Joshi said when asked if Rane might join any other party. "The other parties also include Shiv Sena. However, only the Sena chief can take a decision on this matter," he added.