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BJP trying to 'steal' a Thackeray: Uddhav after MNS chief meets Amit Shah

MNS chief Raj Thackeray met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the national capital over seat-sharing in the Lok Sabha elections 2024. Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra will take place in first five phases on April 19, April 26, May 7, May 13 and May 20.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi Mumbai Published on: March 20, 2024 6:59 IST
Uddhav Thackeray, Lok Sabha polls
Image Source : PTI (FILE) Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray

Lok Sabha Election 2024: Shiv Sena (UBT) chief and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray accused the BJP of "stealing a Thackeray" to win elections. Uddhav Thackeray's jibe at the BJP comes after MNS chief  Raj Thackeray met with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi amidst speculation that the BJP is seeking an alliance with him to strengthen its coalition in Maharashtra ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Here's what Uddhav Thackeray said on BJP-MNS alliance 

Addressing a gathering in Nanded district, Uddhav Thackeray also said the BJP would not get votes in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Maharashtra.

"BJP knows very well that they don't get votes in the name of PM Narendra Modi in Maharashtra. People vote here in the name of (Bal) Thackeray. This realisation prompted the BJP to try to steal leaders from outside (BJP fold)," he said.

Shiv Sena (UBT) chief further said that he is not bothered if the BJP sought to align with his estranged cousin. 

Accusing the BJP of attempting to appropriate the legacy of Bal Thackeray, Uddhav Thackeray described the BJP's influence as "bogus."

"First, they stole the photo of Bal Thackeray, but it doesn't matter. Today, they are trying to steal another Thackeray take it, I and my people are enough," he said while concluding his two-day tour of the Nanded and Hingoli districts in the Marathwada region.

Uddhav Thackeray, whose party is a constituent of the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi and I.N.D.I.A. bloc, claimed even Christians and Muslims have no issue with his style of Hindutva. "The image of Shiv Sena (undivided) was getting sullied when we were with the BJP. But since we severed ties with them, even members of Christian and Muslim communities are saying that they have no issues with our Hindutva ideology," he added.

Raj Thackeray parted ways with the undivided Shiv Sena due to differences with Uddhav Thackeray and founded the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in 2006. Despite being recognized as a powerful orator and having a certain following, the MNS has not made a significant impact. Thackeray's controversial remarks against north Indians in the past have drawn sharp criticism from leaders of various political parties, including the BJP.

Why is BJP trying to woo Raj Thackeray's MNS?

 To ensure it gets maximum seats in Maharashtra, the BJP is in talks with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, the nephew of Late Bal Thackeray. The BJP is already in alliance with breakaway factions of Shiv Sena (led by CM Eknath Shinde) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP-led by Deputy Ajit Pawar). 

A meeting between Raj and Union Home Minister Amit Shah was also held in Delhi in which both the leaders discussed seat-sharing.

According to reports, MNS wants to contest on two seats in Maharashtra -- one the South Mumbai and the other outside Mumbai. Reports say the saffron party may allot South Mumbai seat to Raj Thackeray's party. 

Another reason why the BJP would like to align with Raj Thackeray is party's presence in Mumbai's local body. If both the parties contest elections together, and given that Shinde's Sena and Ajit Pawar's NCP are also with the saffron party, the NDA alliance may have a major advantage.

One possible reason for the BJP to align with MNS is party's Hindutva ideology, to cater to a larger voter base, especially after the split of Shiv Sena which too followed a Hindutva ideology but Uddhav's faction later sided with Congress and Sharad Pawar's NCP. If BJP and MNS come together, it may benefit both the parties in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

(With PTI inputs)

Also Read: Lok Sabha elections 2024: Raj Thackeray meets Amit Shah in Delhi over seat-sharing in Maharashtra

Also Read: Why is BJP trying to woo Raj Thackeray's MNS in Maharashtra ahead of Lok Sabha Elections 2024? Know here



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