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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

BJP widened gap between Raj and Uddhav: NCP

Pradip Kumar Maitra , Hindustan Times  Nagpur, April 05, 2014
First Published: 20:56 IST(5/4/2014) | Last Updated: 22:10 IST(5/4/2014)

The NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik on Saturday accused the BJP of being instrumental in pitting Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and MNS leader Raj Thackeray against each other in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

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Malik, who was in Nagpur to campaigning for Congress-NCP alliance candidates, said that the trigger for the spat between the cousins was BJP former chief Nitin Gadkari's recent meeting with Raj.

Gadkari had proposed to the MNS chief to abstain from LS elections and support Modi. Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde also spoke to him on phone and that only added to the widening of the political gap between the two principal alliances of Maharashtra—BJP and Sena. 

Raj, however, had rejected Gadkari's proposal to keep his party from nominating candidates. While expressing his support for Modi, Raj said his party would pit candidates against the Shiv Sena and not BJP. This only added to the growing chasm between Uddhav and Raj.

Malik alleged that the BJP has a secret pact with MNS, which irked the Sena leadership. Referring to the recent Sena-MNS workers clashes in Mumbai, Malik said such street fights between the two outfits were unprecedented. And it happened because it is the way BJP had conspired, he alleged.

Malik said that Raj targeted Sena by fielding nine candidates from different areas and two against the BJP. "But in the process, Sena would suffer the most and the Congress-NCP combine would benefit," he claimed.

Dismissing the much-hyped 'Modi wave' as non-existent in Maharashtra, Malik said that instead it is a Tsunami that will wash away the BJP. The Congress-NCP combine would get at least 38 out of the 48 LS seats in the state. This will be a repeat performance of the 1999, he added.

According to him, there are strong undercurrents against BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi which will hit like Tsunami to destroy the BJP's prospects. "The BJP election campaign is far away from the democratic electoral process of our country and Modi's own projection will not help BJP reach the magic figure," he predicted.

Answering a question, Malik said that the statement of Shahi Imam of Delhi to support the Congress in the ensuing elections would hardly make any difference with the voters. The same Imam had supported the BJP-led NDA in 2004 and the Muslim voters did not respond to him then.

Malik said the general elections will throw a fractured mandate. It's going to be a hung Parliament. The UPA III will come to power thanks to the support from regional parties and like-minded secular parties. The Congress-led UPA secured less votes in 2004 and 2009 and succeeded in forming the government and same will happen in May this year, he said.


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