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I told Advani not to sack Modi after Godhra riots: Thackeray
February 25, 2009 16:47 IST
Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray [Images] has said he prevailed on the Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani [Images] not to remove Narendra Modi [Images] from the chief ministerial chair in Gujarat after the Godhra riots.
"Modi gaya to Gujarat gaya (If Modi is gone, Gujarat will also slip out of BJP hands)," Thackeray claimed as telling Advani at the mayor's bungalow in Mumbai [Images].
"There were hectic moves to remove Modi from the post after the Godhra riots. We clearly told Advani that Gujarat will be lost if Modi is removed," Thackeray in an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece Saamana said on Wednesday.
Thackeray also objected to BJP general secretary Gopinath Munde equating Modi's leadership with that of his late brother-in-law Pramod Mahajan [Images].
"Why compare Mahajan and Modi?", he asked. "BJP is not going to get another Mahajan and his absence would always be felt by the party," Thackeray said.
Thackeray's comments came amid strain in the Sena-BJP ties and a day after media reported that Advani's desire to meet Bal Thackeray on Tuesday could not materialise.
Advani was in Mumbai on Thursday to attend a function where he was given Rs 11 crore for the election fund by the city BJP unit.
"Sitting on a Katta at Shivaji Park, Pawar had heard the speeches made by us when Shiv Sena was founded decades ago," he said.
"Munde should stop worrying about Pawar. I am here to bless all if something happens for the good of Maharashtra," Thackeray said, fuelling more speculations over his party getting cosy with the Nationalist Congress Party at the cost of long standing alliance partner BJP in Maharashtra.
Media reports of a recent meeting between Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray in Delhi [Images] was neither confirmed nor denied by both the leaders.
Meanwhile, the chief minister, Ashok Chavan [Images] who was in Pune on Tuesday night expressed confidence that differences over seat sharing with NCP in the state would be sorted out and the secular alliance would remain intact to face the coming Lok Sabha polls.