iconimg Thursday, May 07, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, March 12, 2014
Two days after MNS chief Raj Thackeray declared his support to NDA’s PM candidate Narendra Modi, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray asked ally BJP to come clean on the issue.
“I have two questions to ask the BJP. First, who is your leader in Maharashtra, who will be calling final shots and whose word should be taken seriously? Secondly, if someone from outside (Raj) comes and says he backs Modi, what is your stand on the issue?” asked Uddhav at a press conference.

Earlier, the issue took an ugly turn as arch rival, Raj Thackeray of MNS declared that he supported Modi but would field candidates against the BJP-Sena combine.

It led to a panic as a similar move by Raj in 2009 led to a massive division in the anti-Congress vote, hitting severely both the BJP nor the Sena.

Prior, to the media meet at Sena Bhavan, party headquarters, Uddav held a meeting with Sena leaders from across the state.

He said, “This morning, I spoke to Rajiv Pratap Rudy. I am also going to speak to Rajnath Singh soon. But the feeling that I was given is that this (a tie-up with Raj) is not the party’s view.”

In a damage control mode, BJP’s state in-charge Rudy, besides speaking to Uddhav, also met him late evening.

Rudy reportedly assured Uddhav that NDA would not seek any support from parties like the MNS. And that there would be deliberation with Uddhav before any decision was taken.