Mumbai: The Congress took a dig at BJP chief Amit Shah and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray ahead of their scheduled meeting here today, saying the rendezvous was aimed at “cutting a political deal” ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan also played down reports of bickering between the two saffron parties, saying the Sena was unlikely to sever ties with the BJP.

He saw the frequent barbs hurled by the Sena at its NDA ally as a pressure tactic to get a better deal from the BJP.

“The meeting between the two leaders is aimed at cutting a political deal, nothing else. The Shiv Sena is not going to snap ties with the BJP.

“The Shiv Sena’s criticism of the BJP is only a political pressure tactic used to clinch a better deal,” the former Maharashtra chief minister, said.

Hitting out at its alliance partner, the Uddhav Thackeray-led outfit had recently called the BJP its “biggest political enemy”.

Shah is expected to meet Thackeray later in the day as part of the BJP’s “Sampark se Samarthan” (Contact for Support) initiative, aimed at highlighting the achievements of the Narendra Modi government and garnering support for the party in the run-up to next year’s general election.

Earlier in the day, the Shiv Sena questioned the BJP’s outreach programme after suffering defeats in the recently-held bypolls and asserted that it will go solo in all the upcoming elections.