Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that he would like to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi but will not be able to complete Modi’s dream project, the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train, unless it is proved to be beneficial.

In a series of marathon interviews with Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna , Thackeray expressed his reservations about the bullet train project. When asked about the future of the project, he said, “Everyone should sit together and think about it. Who is going to be benefitted by the bullet train, how many industries are going to get a boost because of it, and if it is going to be beneficial; convince us. We will go to the people and then decide what to do about it (bullet train project).” When told that bullet train was PM Modi’s dream project, Thackeray said, “Let it be. Even if it is a dream project, we see facts when we are awakened and not dream.”

However, Thackeray expressed his willingness to meet PM Modi. “Why not? Definitely I shall meet. I shall meet Modi, Soniaji, Advaniji.. and other big names.. definitely I shall meet them…” he said.

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed train corridor, one of India’s first bullet train projects, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Ahmedabad in September 2017. The project is expected to be ready by 2022. Funded by a soft loan from Japan, the ₹1-lakh crore project has a track length of 508 km from the Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai to Sabarmati, Gujarat.

Meanwhile, Uddhav said that the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government was stable and will complete its five-year term. When asked about repeating the coalition experiment at the national level, Uddhav said, “Yes, it has (the coalition has given direction to national politics). Let us see. It has started from the State. We should know if the nation has learned from it…”

Shiv Sena and BJP contested the 2019 State Assembly election as a coalition and won the majority to form government. However, they parted ways after BJP refused to share the post of Chief Minister for two-and-a-half years with Shiv Sena.