MNS begins campaign to support Congress-NCP in Maharashtra

Updated on Mar 31, 2019 01:34 AM IST

In a meeting held on Saturday, MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar instructed all senior office-bearers to help the Congress-NCP defeat the Shiv Sena-BJP combine

MNS chief Raj Thackeray(HT file photo)
MNS chief Raj Thackeray(HT file photo)
Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has begun its preparation to campaign for the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combine in the forthcoming Lok Sabha (LS) elections. In a meeting held on Saturday, MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar instructed all senior office-bearers to help the Congress-NCP defeat the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine.

“Our main aim is to defeat the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo and this can only be done by helping the Congress-NCP combine. Our workers will campaign against the BJP,” said Nandgaonkar. On Saturday, former MNS corporator Sandeep Deshpande greeted Congress candidate from Mumbai South Central constituency, Eknath Gaikwad, at Shivaji Park, where the latter had come to meet morning walkers. Later in the day, MNS leader Shalini Thackeray, too, declared support for actor Urmila Matondkar, Congress’s candidate from Mumbai North constituency.

The move comes after Thackeray recently declared that despite his party not contesting the LS elections, he will campaign aggressively to defeat the BJP and support the Congress-NCP alliance. Although he had demanded four to five seats from NCP leader Sharad Pawar, the plan did not fructify as the Congress opposed the inclusion of Thackeray. The Congress was wary of losing votes owing to the anti-north Indian campaign that the MNS has previously spearheaded.

Another reason behind the MNS supporting the Congress-NCP combine is that the party is keen on contesting Assembly polls, to be held later this year, and does not want its workers to be wooed by the Sena. Both the Senas share a similar vote bank; hence, MNS would prefer its workers to campaign for the Congress-NCP combine.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Naresh is a Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, Mumbai, since 2005. He covers the real estate sector, in addition to doing political reportage.

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