BJP asks Thackeray not to contest polls
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has reportedly asked Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) supremo Raj Thackeray not to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections or even if he does, then to put up minimum candidates possible.
Senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari reportedly had a luncheon meeting with Raj Thackeray at a Mumbai hotel on Monday.
According to reports, Gadkari urged Raj Thackeray to make way for strengthening the BJP-Shiv Sena vote bank in Maharashtra.
"We don't want the Congress to benefit by the MNS which has the capability to divide anti-Congress votes. So we requested Raj Thackeray not to contest the general elections or if he does, put up candidates in minimum seats possible," Gadkari told reporters.
"We also want Raj Thackeray to join the NDA, but for the moment he is not ready," he said.
"Sources say as part of the deal, if the MNS leader agrees to stand back in the national polls, he may be welcomed into the BJP-led coalition for the Maharashtra assembly polls, due in October," reported NDTV.
Pertinently, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is Raj Thackeray's cousin.
Raj Thackeray had split from the Shiv Sena to form the MNS in 2006.
(Posted on 04-03-2014)