Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray claimed on Wednesday that he had proposed an alliance with the Shiv Sena for the upcoming civic elections only to thwart the BJP. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray effectively turned down the MNS’s proposal and snubbed the party on Tuesday, saying the Shiv Sena hadn’t received an alliance proposal from anyone and would fight the elections on its own.
Addressing his party workers at Dadar on Wednesday, Raj hit out at the Shiv Sena, saying its leaders, eyeing the mayor’s bungalow, were trying to keep the BJP in good humour. “My only aim was to keep the BJP out of power,” said Raj.
“However they (Shiv Sena) do not want to forgo power both at the state and the centre. In addition, there is also a monetary angle to it,” he added cryptically. “My only aim was to safeguard the interests of the Marathi manoos.”
He added that the Shiv Sena wanted to usurp the mayor’s bungalow at Shivaji Park, which has been earmarked for a memorial to Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray. “The memorial is just an excuse. The aim is to grab that property,” claimed Raj. “They fear that if they go all-out against the BJP, it will not hand over the plot to them,” he added.
Raj recently extended an olive branch to his estranged cousin Uddhav, seeking an alliance for the civic polls.
On Sunday, he sent MNS leader Bala Nandgoankar to Matoshree, Uddhav’s residence, with the proposal. But Uddhav not only denied receiving any such proposal, he also did not answer telephone calls from Raj, according to sources.
Raj also hit out at the BJP, prime minister Narendra Modi, and BJP president Amit Shah, accusing them of conspiring to separate Mumbai from Maharashtra. He went as far as to call Modi a liar, saying “After demonetisation, Modi promised a new India from January but this is still to materialise. This man just speaks lies and fools people all the time,” he added.