Efforts are on to bring smaller regional political parties together in Maharashtra.
The elective merit of such parties is restricted to particular pockets and their leaders think they will be a force to reckon with in coalition politics if they share resources and join hands to politically exploit common issues.
Non-Conventional Energy and Horticulture Minister Vinay Kore (37), who heads the Jan Surajya Shakti Party, initiated the move on Wednesday by meeting Maharashtra Navnirman Sena president Raj Thackeray at his Shivaji Park residence.
In the last Assembly elections, Kore’s party formed an alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party and won four Assembly seats from Western Maharashtra and one from Vidarbha. In the bargain, Kore got a ministerial berth in the Democratic Front government.
“I met Raj Thackeray because I am making efforts to unite all smaller parties in the state,” he told HT. He refused to divulge further details, while Thackeray could not be reached. MNS spokesperson Shirish Parkar too was unreachable.
However, a source in the MNS said Kore and Thackeray were good friends.
Kore, a cooperative baron, holds extensive clout in Kolhapur and adjoining districts of western Maharashtra.
He is likely to make a similar offer to Shalinitai Patil, wife of former Maharashtra chief minister Vasantdada Patil, who floated political party Kranti Sena early this week.
Patil was expelled from the NCP a couple of months ago for taking an anti-party stance. Other parties on Kore’s radar are Kunabi Sena, which is influential in parts of the Konkan, and MLC Kapil Patil’s Lok Bharati.