Pune, Apr 15 UNI | 3 months ago

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, after being snubbed by BJP president Rajnath Singh recently, today made it clear that he has extended his support to Narendra Modi as prime ministerial candidate and not to Rajnath Singh.

Mr Singh had recently said without naming Mr Thackeray, that those supporting Mr Modi should either support or merge in 'Mahayuti' (an alliance between the BJP, Shiv Sena, Republic Party of India (RPI), Shetkari Sanghatna and RashtriyaSamaji Paksha) in Maharashtra.

While addressing a public meeting at Kothrud for party candidate Deepak Paigude here yesterday, MNS chief in response said his party was not from Uttar Pradesh.

'I support Mr Modi, not Rajnath Singh. If Mr Modi is not talking about it, why are you?,' he shot back.

The MNS chief further said most PMs including Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Atal Bihari Vajpayee came from UP.

'Then why do the people from UP migrate to Maharashtra. Why did the prime ministers fail to develop the state. After Mr Modi becomes PM. I would request him to develop UP like Gujarat so that the citizens of the northern state do not migrate to Maharashtra,' he said.

Mr Thackeray claimed that Maharashtra is the highest tax payer state in India, but gets much less in return from the Centre.

'Mahrashtra pays 40 per cent of the sales tax, as compared to 21 per cent from Delhi, 5 per cent from Gujarat and 1 per cent from Bihar. Pune itself generates 4 per cent of the total sales tax collected in the country. It is more than some states. Maharashtra also leads in customs duty. But in return the state only gets 5 per cent of the total funds given by the Centre to states,' he added.

The MNS chief declared that his party candidates after winning Lok Sabha election would support Mr Modi.

(Posted on 16-04-2014)