Mumbai: Hours after meeting Hardik Patel, who arrived in Mumbai Tuesday morning to campaign for Shiv Sena for the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, Uddav Thackeray said the Patidar leader will be used against the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat.
"Hardik Patel will be Shiv Sena's face during the upcoming state elections in Gujarat", Thackeray declared on Tuesday.
The election for the 182-member Gujarat assembly will be held later this year, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fighting anti-incumbency.
Already strained relationship between Shiv Sena and BJP - alliance partners since more than two decades snowbowled before the Mumbai civic body elections forcing Sena to part ways.
After arriving in Mumbai, Hardik Patel while talking to reporters said that he will campaign for Biren Limbachya, Shiv Sena candidate for the Mumbai municipal elections from Goregaon.
He also said that he was looking to align with "like-minded people".
"I have grown up idolising Bhagat Singh and Balasaheb Thackeray, and I am extremely happy to be in the land of Veer Savarkar," he said.
Hardik Patel's decision to come to Mumbai and later Uddhav Thackeray's dramatic declaration is surprising as there was talks in Gujarat political circles that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is hobnobbing with Hardik Patel.
It was also speculated that the Patidar leader, who came to limelight after his reservation movement, will join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Contesting election without its alliance partner BJP for the first time in over two decades, the Shiv Sena has fielded 11 Gujarati candidates. This is the highest number the Sena, which once opposed Gujaratis calling outsiders, has ever had in its electoral history in Mumbai's local elections.