Pune, In a keenly-watched development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a ‘protocol encounter’ with Uddhav Thackeray for the first time after the latter became the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, here late on Friday.
As the Prime Minister alighted from the aircraft, he was welcomed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Maharashtra Governor B.S. Koshyari, Uddhav Thackeray and the Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis.
This was the first meeting between the two political stalwarts after the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena snapped their decades old ties and went their separate ways last month.
Thackeray specially went from Mumbai to Pune to receive and welcome Modi as a state protocol gesture, and the two were together for barely a few minutes. Modi shook hands warmly with Thackeray who bowed and welcomed him.
Over a week after he took over as the Chief Minister, Thackeray has not yet formally met the Prime Minister, though a meeting is likely to be announced shortly.
Modi, along with Shah, arrived 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) here.
The Modi-Thackeray meet is expected to have a positive bearing on the relations between the two in the coming months, particularly since the new state government has initiated some steps that have upset the Opposition BJP.
It maybe recalled that on November 28, Modi was among the earliests 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,” Modi had said in a tweet.
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.”
The Ministry of Home Affairs has organised the annual national conference of DGPs-IGPs. Earlier it was held in New Delhi, but since the past few years it is being held in different cities around the country.