Lashing out at the Mahayuti alliance for not subsuming his party, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray yesterday claimed that Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray was responsible for it. Thackeray was speaking at a public rally organised by the MNS Pune district unit in support of their party’s Lok Sabha candidate across the district.
MNS chief Raj Thackeray
Thackeray claimed that many BJP leaders who met him to discuss whether his party should be included into Mahayuti told him that it was Uddhav who was not willing to rope MNS into the Mahayuti in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Poll-mell: Thousands of Raj Thackeray’s supporters came out to attend his first election rally in the city. pics/Mohan Patil
“Nitin Gadkari and Gopinath Munde separately met me eight months ago in Pune, Nashik and Mumbai on various occasions to discuss MNS’ entry into the alliance, but both leaders failed to come to a consensus and told me that they would take the matter up with their fellow party men. However, later I got to know that Uddhav was not keen on including me in the alliance,” said Raj.
He added that Sena leaders, who also opposed the inclusion of NCP in alliance, however used Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar for their own gains. “The Sena leader who opposed the inclusion of Pawar’s party in the NDA, used Pawar to attain land to build a memorial of Sena supremo Bal Thackeray,” Raj said.
With regards to the article challenging his political capabilities raised in Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana, Raj said, “I will show my capabilities in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections,” Raj asserted. Speaking about the recent complaints made by the BJP state unit against his party to the state election commission for using BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s image to attract votes, Raj said that he would never feel the need to use Modi’s name to gain the votes for his party.
“Although I criticised Modi, I was the first person to visit Gujarat to review the developmental progress made by the state.” He also questioned why Sena leaders never visited Gujarat to check on the development done by their alliance party. Raj added, “Although I criticised Modi once, he is the only one who has the qualities of becoming a capable prime minister.”
Raj said that he would hold 33 such rallies in the state. “I will keep exposing issues in my rallies,” he said.