Pune: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray said on Monday night that BJP leaders Nitin Gadkari and Gopinath Munde had approached him with a request not to contest Lok Sabha elections to avoid division of anti-Congress votes in Maharashtra.
"Nitin Gadkari requested me not to fight Lok Sabha polls. I told him how it is possible? I head an independent political party which has mass support. Gopinath Munde too met me and requested me to adjust," he said at an election rally here.
He said that BJP leaders had earlier been in touch with him urging him to join the BJP-Shiv Sena-RPI (Athawale) alliance, but nothing concrete emerged because Uddhav Thackeray was unwilling to allow MNS into its fold.
"When Gadkari asked me earlier to fight elections jointly, I asked him - how will you go about it? Is your ally (Shiv Sena) willing for our inclusion in the alliance? Then he told me that he would discuss the matter with the Shiv Sena. However, after that there was no positive response and BJP leaders themselves told me that Uddhav was not responding to the idea," he said.