Mumbai: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a pitch for smaller families to combat “population explosion”, BJP ally Shiv Sena on Friday (August 16) welcomed his remarks saying that late Bal Thackeray always advocated it.

In his Independence Day speech on Thursday (August 15), PM 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.

Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Shiv 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 supporting the policies of the Shiv Sena. This is in the 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, the 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 (August 16) in the presence of Thackeray and other leaders.