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Mumbai: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a pitch for smaller families to combat population explosion, BJP ally Shiv Sena on Friday welcomed his remarks saying that late Bal Thackeray always advocated it.

In his Independence Day address on Thursday, Modi voiced concern over "population explosion", stating that it leads to many difficulties. He also said that keeping one's families small is an act of patriotism.

Talking to reporters here, Sena MP and party spokesman Sanjay Raut said, "We are happy that the Modi government is taking forward the policies of the Shiv Sena...Late Bal Thackeray always advocated the need for population control." 

"The NDA government under Modi is espousing the policies of the Shiv Sena. This is in national interest," he added.

Raut added that the triple talaq legislation is a step towards enacting the Uniform Civil Code.

Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, who was also present there, said there was no need to bring religion into the issues of national interest.

"How can a state have separate powers than the Centre? The Modi government has removed it," he said referring to the abrogation of Article 370, which accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, Dhanraj Mahale, former Shiv Sena MLA, who had contested the Dindori Lok Sabha seat on NCP ticket earlier this year, returned to the saffron party on Friday in the presence of Thackeray and other leaders.
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