MNS ready to join hands with BJP and Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena faction?

MNS ready to join hands with BJP and Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena faction?

Political equations in Maharashtra have changed and reports state that Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) seems to be gravitating towards the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction. This development, in the future, will pose as a key factor for several polls, especially the civic polls where votes from the fellow Maharashtrians will matter a lot.

Uddhav Thackeray’s party in the past has faced criticism and with losing power in the state government, in June, the association between Eknath Shinde, Devendra Fadnavis and Raj Thackeray has attracted several conversations in the political circuit.

A report was published in the PTI regarding the same, which mentioned, “Shinde and Fadnavis met Raj Thackeray for MNS’ Deepotsav event in Shivaji Park on the eve of Diwali. The brewing chemistry was evident when the trio walked together to the venue in Shivaji Park from the residence of the MNS chief. Last month, Raj Thackeray had written a letter to Fadnavis, urging him to withdraw BJP’s candidate from the Andheri East Assembly bypoll in favour of late Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke’s wife. The BJP later withdrew its candidate from the race, for which Raj Thackeray thanked Fadnavis.”

“In the months leading to the fall of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, Raj Thackeray had raised the issue of loudspeakers at mosques and announced to visit Ayodhya. After the change in guard in Maharashtra, leaders of the BJP and the Shinde faction met Raj Thackeray separately on various occasions. Both Shinde and Fadnavis had also met the MNS chief separately. Raj Thackeray also wrote a letter to his “friend” Fadnavis, hailing him for setting an example of loyalty and commitment to one’s party by taking over as the deputy Chief minister of the state. Officially, each side has declined to comment on a possible tie-up in the state,” the report added.

MNS has faced severe backlash in the past and has fiercely stood against Uddhav Thackeray, however, has had its own ups and downs with political standing and alliances. The upcoming BMC elections poses to party’s last chance to consolidate MNS and stay politically relevant. BJP and MNS, in 2019, were looking for a strong alliance, and Raj Thackeray, in 2019, spoke against Modi which helped MVA significantly to strengthen Congress-NCP alliance. Despite contesting in 101 seats that year, the party won only one seat with 2.25 per cent votes. With Shiv Sena parting ways with Shinde’s faction, MNS has one more chance to fill the void and attract Marathi voters once again by joining hands with BJP and the Shinde faction.

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