Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray is slated to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Friday. This will be his first visit to the national capital almost three months after forming the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government along with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.
Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut confirmed the meeting on Thursday. “Yes, the CM is going to meet the Prime Minister in Delhi tomorrow. It is a courtesy call. No need to dive deep into the subject,” Raut tweeted. While the agenda for the meeting has not been confirmed, officials in the CM’s office said Thackeray may take up contentious issues like the implementation of the National Population Register, hand-over of the Elgar Parishad probe to the NIA, besides funding proposals like the pending proposal of relief to farmers for unseasonal rains, irrigation projects, GST dues for the state.
There is a difference of opinion between the MVA partners over implementation of NPR. While the Congress and NCP are opposed to the roll-out of NPR, Thackeray is not against it and has termed it similar to the Census. The CM discussed all these issues with top officials of various departments on Thursday evening. This is the first time after he took over as the CM and parted ways with ally Bharatiya Janata Party that Thackeray will visit Delhi and meet the PM independently. He had met Modi in Pune in December briefly when the latter had come to inaugurate a national conference.
With the state exchequer burdened by loan waiver and compensation to farmers, the MVA government needs to maintain good relations with the Centre. Politically, this seems unlikely as Thackeray set up the government by ditching his long-term ally, the BJP. The CM had urged all party MPs from Maharashtra to pursue state-related issues with the Centre for funds.