Will they, won’t they. Rumours about the warring Thackeray cousins uniting have been doing the rounds ever since the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parted ways.
However, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Thursday indicated his party may tie-up with Shiv Sena after the assembly polls, if needed.
Raj admitted he and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had considered a tie-up, but the latter did not respond in time.
The MNS chief claimed Uddhav had called him the day the BJP walked out of their 25-year-old alliance. “He told me what happened, after which I asked him [Uddhav] what he wanted to do. He said we could have seat adjustments, avoid targeting each other and consider coming together after the elections,” Raj said, during an interview to a news channel, ABP Majha.
“I sent two MNS leaders to discuss the seat-adjustment proposal, but there was no response from the Sena the next day. Since only one day was left for candidates to file nominations, I decided to go ahead and field nominees,” Raj said.
He, however, added he was keeping the options of post-poll tie-up open.
While Uddhav did not respond to Raj’s comments, Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut did not deny the possibility of the two Senas coming together. “Raj Thackeray says he will take a decision in the interest of the state and I agree with him,” Raut said.
In the past few days, Raj has been going unusually easy on Uddhav in his rallies, and both have stopped criticising each other. Significantly, both of them are now targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Maharashtra versus Gujarat issue.
They have also been insisting that national parties like BJP and the Congress have no role in Maharashtra. For instance, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu have been doing well with local parties being in charge there.