MNS eyeing many rebels from BJP, Sena candidates

Party decides to contest at least 100 seats in Vidhan Sabha poll.

Mumbai: Having decided to contest the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha polls, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is now eyeing possible dissidents from the Shiv Sena and BJP before finalising its candidate list.

“We have decided to contest the Assembly polls and the list of candidates is ready. But we are waiting for better candidates. If we find them, they will be accommodated in our candidate list,” said a senior MNS leader.

“If an alliance (BJP-Sena) takes place, both parties will not be able to field many of their aspirants as they will have to concede seats to their alliance partner. In such a scenario, there are bound to be a lot of disgruntled candidates. Several possible rebel candidates are in touch with us. Hence, we will wait for the BJP and Sena to take a final call on the alliance before finalising our candidate list,” said the MNS leader.

The party has decided to contest a minimum 100 seats in the Vidhan Sabha polls, but the number may go up, he added.

The MNS may contest seats in Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan, Dombivali, Nashik, Pune and Marathwada, where it has a sizeable vote bank. The party has sent its leaders to these cities to talk to aspirants and select the candidates. It was at a meeting of party leaders Friday that MNS chief Raj Thackeray decided to contest the Assembly polls. Earlier, he had called for a boycott of the Assembly polls till the election commission agreed to use ballot paper instead of electronic voting machines (EVMs).

According to sources, the party is waiting for the final outcome of the BJP-Sena alliance talks.

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