Mumbai: In a development that sparked off speculation, MNS chief Raj Thackeray visited his estranged cousin and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray at the latter's residence of Matoshree in Bandra East on Friday morning. It's amid speculations that the parties could join hands, if not outright merge, before the upcoming elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections.
Shiv Sena, a joint-stake holder in BJP-ruled Maharashtra government, has often been in discord with it for various reasons including farmers’ suicide, GST Bill, economic reforms and inflation. Senior leader and ex-MLA Bala Nandgaonkar accompanied Raj Thackeray for the meeting. All the parties including Shiv Sena, MNS, BJP and Congress are flexing their muscles for the next BMC polls which is being touted as battle ground for the political parties.
There have been serious allegations of corruption against the BMC time and again. MNS is trying to get the foothold in Maharashtra politics as Shiv Sena has a strong hold on Maratha vote bank. Even Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has been quite vocal against BJP and its some policies. Recently, he said, “For 25 years or at least two generations, we held each other’s hands and moved on. We could have come to power on our own strength long ago but we rotted in this alliance with the BJP.”
In 2014 Maharashtra assembly elections, BJP and Shiv Sena fought alone snapping their 25-year old ties. But later, they formed a coalition government in the state.