Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray reportedly met at a hotel in Vidarbha’s Amravati, giving rise to speculation that the two parties could join hands after the assembly elections.
A section of the Marathi print media and news channels reported the meeting between the key leaders. However, Gadkari’s spokesperson poured cold water on these reports.
“There is no truth in these media reports,” said Manoj Wadekar, the spokesperson for the Union minister. “Mr Gadkari left the hotel minutes after Mr Thackeray checked in on Tuesday morning. They had rooms on different floors.”
Prior to the Lok Sabha elections in April, Gadkari had invited then ally Shiv Sena’s wrath by meeting the MNS chief and requesting him not to field candidates against the BJP.
A BJP leader said that with the Shiv Sena now an opponent following the end of a 25-year alliance, neither Gadkari nor any other party leader was under pressure to stay away from Raj Thackeray.