With the Lok Sabha elections just a couple of months away, political equations in Maharashtra acquired a new dimension on Monday after a luncheon meeting between senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari and MNS chief Raj Thackeray.
The meeting created quite a flutter, as the BJP’s ally Shiv Sena, led by Raj’s cousin Udhhav Thackeray, was not pleased with the development. Late on Monday, state BJP chief Devendra Fadnavis met Uddhav to calm nerves. Sources said Fadnavis explained to a “furious” Uddhav that Gadkari’s visit was a personal one.
However, Gadkari’s move could turn out to be a political masterstroke, with the former BJP chief expressing a wish that Raj join hands with the BJP and other like-minded parties to prevent division of votes in their fight against the Congress-NCP combine.
Senior MNS leaders, though ruling out an alliance with the BJP, said the meeting could ensure that candidates from the parties don’t clash in their respective strongholds. There is also speculation within the MNS that the party may not contest Lok Sabha polls at all.