Mumbai: The Janata Dal-United’s decision to snap ties with its ally the Bharatiya Janata Party after 17 years is a good news for Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. The Shiv Sena executive president has been offered the post of NDA convenor, a position which was earlier held by Sharad Yadav, said highly-placed sources.

The prestigious post was offered to Thackeray at his residence, Matoshree, during a meeting with BJP chief Rajnath Singh on Tuesday night.
According to sources, the details of the meeting were kept under wraps and were part of an exercise to keep the NDA alliance together. The BJP has been trying its best to keep all its allies together, after the JD-U snapped ties with it.  Shiv Sena is one of its natural allies owing to their common stand on Hindutva.

If Uddhav accepts the proposal, then he will be the third convenor of the National Democratic Alliance. At the time of the inception of the alliance, Samata Party leader George Fernandes was appointed its convenor and a few years later, JD-U chief Saharad Yadav stepped into his shoes.

Thackeray assured the BJP chief that he would consider the proposal and would convey his decision soon, said sources, adding that BJP leaders think he will accept the post, as this would finally be his ticket into national politics.

After the meet, the BJP President had expressed confidence that his party's alliance with its oldest partner Shiv Sena would continue. "Rajnath said our alliance will continue with more strength," the sources added.

Talking about his meeting with the BJP president, Uddhav said, "Rajnath Singh said the alliance with Shiv Sena will remain intact. I said it will, as long as BJP does not leave the Hindutva issue."

Thackeray addressing his party men on Wednesday at Shanmukhanand Hall vouched his commitment to Hindutva.

Criticizing Bihar Chief Minister and JD-U leader Nitish Kumar for severing ties with the BJP-led NDA, he said, "What kind of secularism is Nitish Kumar talking about? Where were these secularists when Kashmiri Pandits were driven out of Kashmir? Where were these secularists when the Hindus were facing crises?"

Those present at the meeting on Tuesday included BJP state unit chief Devendra Fadanvis and Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray, the sources further said.

JPN/Mid-Day/Agencies