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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

No merger with anyone: Raj Thackeray responds to Uddhav offer

PTI  Mumbai, February 12, 2013
First Published: 22:53 IST(12/2/2013) | Last Updated: 22:54 IST(12/2/2013)

Ruling out merger with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Tuesday said he had no intention of aligning with anybody.

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Speaking at a rally in Maharashtra's Kolhapur town, Raj said, "There is no thought now of any alliance. Do talks of alliance happen through newspapers?"

He was making a veiled reference to Uddhav's "merger offer" made through an interview in Sena's mouthpiece 'Saamana' last month.

In the interview, Uddhav Thackeray had said that he would welcome any offer of an alliance between his party and the MNS in the interests of the Marathi people.

Responding to a query on whether the cousins could come together, Uddhav had pointed out, "One cannot clap with a single hand. Tell me, can you?"

Asked what he would do if estranged cousin Raj approached him with a proposal for an alliance, Uddhav had said, "If someone is going to come wholeheartedly with Sena, I will welcome them."

Raj Thackeray split from the Shiv Sena in 2006 after his late uncle Bal Thackeray made it clear that his son Uddhav would succeed him as Sena chief. Last year, Raj had fuelled speculation about a patch-up, visiting his ailing uncle at Matoshree several times.

He also visited Uddhav in hospital when the latter underwent an angiography first, and then an angioplasty.

Raj also attacked migrants from other states, saying they indulge in crimes. "If they indulge in crimes here, teach them a lesson," he told MNS workers.

Raj praised the development work in Gujarat by Narendra Modi. "Why has Maharashtra not been able to emulate the development work in that state," he said.

Alleging that activists close to Maharashtra home minister RR Patil were threatening MNS workers and their family members, Raj said that if this does not stop, "We will threaten your (Patil's) family members."

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