Lok Sabha elections: Raj Thackeray declares ‘unconditional’ support to BJP-Shiv Sena-NCP alliance | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Lok Sabha elections: Raj Thackeray declares ‘unconditional’ support to BJP-Shiv Sena-NCP alliance

Apr 09, 2024 10:17 PM IST

Lok Sabha elections: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray had met Union home minister Amit Shah in New Delhi last month.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Tuesday announced ‘unconditional’ support to the Bharatiya Janata Party- Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party alliance for the Lok Sabha elections. 

“Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is unconditionally supporting the grand alliance of 'BJP-Shiv Sena-NCP...This support is only for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the NDA alliance. Now everyone should prepare for the elections,” Thackeray told MNS workers in Mumbai. The MNS has not fielded any candidate for the Lok Sabha elections yet.

The buzz around Thackeray's awaited tie-up with the ruling ‘Mahayuti’ alliance had grown louder after he met Union home minister Amit Shah in New Delhi last month.

ALSO READ: Mixed reactions in BJP to Raj’s potential tie-up with party

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray has asked its cadre to start preparing for elections.(X/ANI)
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray has asked its cadre to start preparing for elections.(X/ANI)

Raj Thackeray, the nephew of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray, had left the party in 2005 and founded MNS in 2006. His remarks against migrants from UP and Bihar had drawn criticism from several parties including the BJP. 

In 2008, the MNS grabbed headlines when its workers assaulted migrants from UP and Bihar in Mumbai. In 2009 Maharashtra assembly elections, MNS won 13 out of 288 seats, mostly in Mumbai. 

ALSO READ: Uddhav Thackeray accuses BJP of ‘trying to steal another Thackeray’

The MNS's presence played spoilsport for the undivided Shiv Sena by cutting into its Marathi votebank. However, the party lost focus despite Thackeray's oratory skills and fan following and is now a marginal player in the state.

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Its vote share in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls had dropped from 4.1 per cent to 1.5 per cent. In assembly polls, the MNS had a vote share of 5.71 per cent in 2009 but slumped to 3.15 per cent in 2014 and 2.25 per cent in 2019.

The BJP and the undivided Shiv Sena fought the 2019 Lok Sabha polls together and won 23 and 18 seats respectively.

The Lok Sabha polls will be held in Maharashtra in five phases from April 19 to May 20. The counting of votes will be held on June 4.

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