Raj Thackeray To Clear Stand On Alliance With BJP In Gudi Padwa Rally On Tuesday

All eyes will be on Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Tuesday, as he is expected to make his stand clear for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls at his party’s annual Gudhi Padva rally at the historic Shivaji Park in Mumbai.

The MNS has already released a teaser with Raj Thackeray asking people to come to Shivaji Park on Gudhi Padva, the first day of the Marathi New Year. “Since last few weeks, a lot of gossip has been spread about our party. Time has come to come clean on this. I want to directly talk to you... (to explain) what happened exactly... what is happening,” he said. “I don’t take steps depending on elections but in the interests of Maharashtra,” he added.

Ever since the Lok Sabha polls have been announced, there have been lot of speculations about whether the MNS would contest the polls or not. There have also been talks about Raj Thackeray supporting the ruling Mahayuti – comprising the BJP, Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and Ajit Pawar-led NCP – in the elections.

Last month, Raj and his son Amit Thackeray met Union Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah in New Delhi triggering talks that the saffron party and the MNS are planning to forge an alliance for the Lok Sabha polls. However, since then there has not been any headway on the matter so far.

Meanwhile, Fadnavis said that he has the confidence that Raj would support Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “We have come close after the MNS has adopted a pro-Hindutva stand. We expect that he would support Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.

Sanjay Shirsat, a spokesperson of Shinde-led Shiv Sena, has also asked Raj Thackeray to join the Mahayuti in Maharashtra. He said he would be among the first to roll out a red carpet for Raj if the MNS joins the Mahayuti as this would only strengthen the ruling alliance.

While in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Raj Thackeray had supported Narendra Modi for the prime minister’s post, five years later he had openly campaigned against Modi, though his party did not contest the polls.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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