New Delhi, June 6: While BJP chief Amit Shah arrived in Mumbai on Wednesday, Shiv Sena mocked the ally’s outreach programme ‘Sampark for Samarthan’, insisting that it would contest the 2019 polls “independently”, said media reports. Shah is set to meet Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray later today. (Also read: BJP Wins Palghar LS By-poll, Rift With Sena Widens)

Pointing at the BJP’s dismal performance in the Lok Sabha and Assembly by-polls, an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece Saamana has questioned the motive behind Shah’s meetings with all NDA allies. “The Shiv Sena showed its strength in the Palghar by-poll. In such a situation, the 2019 Lok Sabha polls can be one reason behind the BJP chief’s Sampark Abhiyan,” the editorial read. Ridiculing the BJP, the Sena said the party has launched a global outreach programme with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a world tour and Shah on a domestic one. “The BJP has lost sampark (contact) with the people and it should introspect why that has happened,” the daily said, pointing out that the BJP won just one of the four Lok Sabha seats and one of the 10 Assembly seats in the May by-polls.  It also mocked the BJP’s “dependance on its poster boys” to win elections, asking if Shah would also meet former ally and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu as part of his ‘Sampark for Samarthan’.

In 2019, “a change of power is certain” in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh after the Assembly elections, the editorial said. It also remarked that the BJP makes “businessman-like calculations about whom to stay in touch with and whom not to”. The meeting between the two leaders is scheduled to be held at Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s residence in Matoshree, Bandra (east), in the evening.