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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, April 17, 2014
“This is an interview, and not an interrogation” was MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s reprimand while threatening to walk out of a one-on-one with news channel Times Now on Thursday.
The trigger was news anchor Arnab Goswami’s repeated questions about Thackeray’s support to BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, despite Thackeray’s opposition to the party, particularly its boss, Rajnath Singh.

“I have made it clear that I am supporting Modi for his work. This does not mean that I am supporting BJP. I do not intend to join the NDA. I just want the country to get a stable government,” Raj said, explaining his support to Modi. Watch: HT Explains: Will Raj Thackeray aide Modi in Maharashtra?

But when Goswami repeatedly mentioned how Modi and Thackeray had taken different positions on the issue of migrant labourers, Thackeray threatened to leave the interview halfway.

“I do not agree with Modi on this issue. In Gujarat, they may not have enough people to do menial jobs and so they need people from UP and Bihar. But in Maharashtra, we have enough people who need jobs,” he said.

In response to a question on a recent statement by Rajnath Singh in Pune, calling the MNS support an “unsolicited” one, Thackeray said he didn’t care what Singh said. “I am supporting Modi, and not Rajnath. I am not bothered about what he says.”

An MNS leader said on the condition of anonymity: “We agree with Rajsaheb’s statement that MNS is supporting Modi for his work. By declaring the support, we have given a clear message to our voters that we are pro-Modi.”