Both of them -- staunch rivals in the campaign field -- were seen exchanging pleasantries, eating breakfast and sipping tea for a short while, at Hotel Sarovar.
Upon seeing Ambedkar and others, Shinde warmly greeted them and wished Ambedkar the best in the elections, which was reciprocated in equal measure.
"They are not political enemies, merely opponents, so what's wrong if they sat and enjoy a cup of tea... It's our old Indian tradition and there was nothing more to the meeting. Our political fight against the BJP is very serious," VBA-AIMIM alliance Vice-President Vijay More told IANS.
Later, the VBA-AIMIM also sent out official messages on the social media saying "the meeting between Ambedkar-Shinde was sudden, Bhim Sainiks should not get wrong ideas about it."
In what will be the first major experiment of Dalit-Muslim unity in the state, Ambedkar is contesting in Akola and from Solapur, where he is locking horns in a triangular fight against Shinde and BJP's Mahaswami Jaisiddheshwar Shivacharya.
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