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Buzz over MNS joining NDA-BJP camp, may contest LS polls


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Shillong, March 19: Political circles are abuzz over the possibility of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) joining the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

MNS President Raj Thackeray and his son Amit R. Thackeray, went to New Delhi to meet with the BJP top brass, including a likely meeting on Tuesday with Union Home Minister Amit Shah ostensibly to seal an alliance deal, marking a new twist in Maharashtra politics.

While confirming the developments, MNS Chief Spokesperson Sandeep Deshpande guardedly said that “whatever Raj Thackeray will decide, it will be in the interest of the party and the state”.

On the other hand, Nationalist Congress Party(SP) Working President Supriya Sule said that in case the MNS opts to join the national opposition INDIA. bloc, it will be “welcomed and accorded dignity”, adding to the suspense on Raj Thackeray’s political manoeuvres.

The MahaYuti alliance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said that if the MNS decided to join hands with the BJP, “it will be in the interests of Hindutva, the state and the country”.

In a brief banter with the mediapersons, Raj Thackeray kept up the mystery saying “I have no idea… I was only told to ‘come’… I do not know of any meetings”.

The political movements came barely hours after Chief Minister Eknath Shinde declared that the MahaYuti and the 18-year-old MNS are on the same page as far as Hindutva is concerned and an appropriate decision would be taken on including it in the NDA fold.

Ruling ally Nationalist Congress Party Minister Chhagan Bhujbal diplomatically said the MNS — currently having one MLA and influence in certain pockets — would be welcomed if it joins the NDA-MahaYuti alliance.

Shiv Sena (UBT) Chief Spokesperson Sanjay Raut dismissively said that MNS entry to the NDA “would not have any political impact’ in the state.

Last week, Raj Thackeray — the estranged cousin of former CM and Shiv Sena (UBT) President Uddhav Thackeray — had dropped broad hints of plunging into the LS polls.

At the same time, he also emphasised on the party’s staunch Hindutva credentials plus a committed cadre-base though there have been internal rumblings that the MNS has yet to taste ‘real’ power in the past 18 years of its existence. (IANS)


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