The Shiv Sena has rejected the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s request for an alliance. Uddhav Thackeray, the Sena president, told MNS leaders to support his party unconditionally and not contest on a single seat for the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections.
Sena accused MNS of being a backup plan for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), insinuating that the MNS has been fielded by the BJP to grab Sena’s votes. MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar has been speaking through news channels pleading for an alliance with Sena to prevent their cadre from joining other parties.
Sena rejected the MNS offer and bluntly told the leaders that “For the sake of Marathi Manoos (Marathi speaking people) the MNS should give unconditional support and not field any candidates. Instead they should merge with the Sena.” The Sena further stated, “Just as the MNS offered unconditional support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the MNS should also do so for Sena in these elections. If not, the people will stop trusting MNS and it will prove that the only agenda the party has is to take ‘supari’ (contract hits) on behalf of BJP.”
Speaking to the media, senior MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar expressed their helplessness over workers leaving their party in droves. “Those who are leaving the party, how can we stop them. Those who want to leave shall go anyway,” remarked Nandgaonkar.
He added that those who have left went due to ego problems as they have high aspirations. “I had left the Sena in fact after talking to the late Sena chief Bal Thackeray in person. The MNS has fallen behind in time and there is no dialogue or communication with our president. No political party dies, there are ups and downs,” remarked Nandgaonkar.
Replying to queries over why he went with the alliance proposal to the Sena, the MNS leader stated that the way Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis spoke about showing the Sena its place enraged him.
Retorting to the MNS argument that time has still not run out for an alliance, the Sena remarked that the time for the MNS has already gone as it was still hopeful for an alliance with the BJP. The Sena further argued that the MNS proposal for alliance with the Sena was aimed at bringing its derailed “engine” (MNS election symbol) back on the tracks.