Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a 'protocol encounter' with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for the first time on Friday. This was their first meeting after Thackeray broke decades-old alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party and formed government in the state with the support of the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party last month.
The chief minister specially went from Mumbai to Pune to receive and welcome the prime minister as a state protocol gesture. As PM Modi alighted from the aircraft, he was welcomed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari, CM Uddhav Thackeray and the Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis. Modi shook hands warmly with Thackeray who bowed and welcomed him.
After receiving the PM, Thackeray left for Mumbai, state government officials said.
PM Modi, along with Shah, is in Pune for the three-day national conference of Directors General and Inspectors General of police being held at the Indian Institute of Science Education & Research (IISER). The annual national conference of DGPs-IGPs is being organised by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Earlier it was held in New Delhi, but since the past few years, it is being held in different cities around the country.
The Modi-Thackeray meet comes at a time when things are not on a positive side between the two parties. It may be recalled that on November 28, the prime minister was among the earliest to congratulate Thackeray on his being sworn-in as the Chief Minister and the Shiv Sena chief had reciprocated promptly.
"Congratulations to Uddhav Thackeray-ji on taking oath as the CM of Maharashtra. I am confident that he will work diligently for the bright future of Maharashtra," he had tweeted.
Thackeray tweeted back: "Thank you Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji for your kind wishes. With you as my big brother in the Centre and with a strong cabinet in the state, I am looking forward to working persistently, to build a new Maharashtra."