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BJP likely to stitch alliance with Raj Thackeray's MNS for countering Uddhav in Lok Sabha polls
LS polls
Amit Shah meeting Raj Thackeray in Delhi/ courtesy: Latter's Facebook

BJP likely to stitch alliance with Raj Thackeray's MNS for countering Uddhav in Lok Sabha polls

| @@indiablooms | 19 Mar 2024, 10:17 pm

Mumbai/IBNS: In an attempt to maximise seats from Maharashtra, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has reached out to Uddhav Thackeray's estranged cousin Raj Thackeray and his Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).

Raj Thackeray reached Delhi last night and met Union Home Minister Amit Shah Tuesday apparently to discuss his party's possible entry into the NDA.

"I was told to come to Delhi. So I came. Let's see," the MNS chief said on arriving in the national capital. He did not speak to the media after the meeting.

Senior MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar said that talks between the two leaders to stitch an alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha election were "positive", and details will be shared in a day or two.

The MNS reportedly wants three seats - South Mumbai, Shirdi and Nashik.

In the last general election, the BJP and the Shiv Sena contested the polls in an alliance and won 41 out of the state's 48 seats.

Months later, it clinched another victory in the state polls.

However, owing to differences over sharing, the Sena parted ways with the NDA.

The Shiv Sena, then led by Uddhav Thackeray, teamed up with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress to form the government.

But in 2022, Sena leader Eknath Shinde led a mutiny that toppled the Uddhav Thackeray government. Shinde then paired up with the BJP to take over.

In the legal battle that followed, Uddhav Thackeray lost his party's name and symbol and his camp was named Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray).

Similarly, the Sharad Pawar-led NCP split after a rebellion led by his nephew Ajit Pawar.

The NCP veteran, too, lost his party's name and symbol and now leads a faction named NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar).

So from a straight contest in 2019, the Maharashtra Lok Sabha fight will now see a battle between the BJP, NCP and Shiv Sena on one side and the Congress and the camps led by Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray on the other.

The BJP, therefore, does not want to take chances in the politically significant state that is critical to its target to win 370 Lok Sabha seats. Therefore, to counter the Uddhav Thackeray factor, it has reached out to his cousin Raj.

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