If snubbing Raj Thackeray’s last ditch attempt at an alliance wasn’t enough, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday asked MNS to not field any candidates in the upcoming BMC elections unless it was offering unconditional support to rival BJP.
“If it (MNS) does not field candidates, then we believe MNS is thinking for ‘Marathi manus’ else it’s apparent that MNS is BJP’s B team,” the Shiv Sena said in a statement.
The party has also ruled out the possibility of an alliance with the MNS, with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray indicating that he was not keen on any rapprochement with estranged cousin Raj Thackeray.
A day after MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar went to Matoshree (Uddhav’s residence) seeking an alliance, the Sena chief said, “I have not received any proposal. Anyway, the Sena is all prepared to go solo and we will win across Maharashtra.”
The MNS leader, earlier on Sunday, was not granted an audience by Uddhav and hence he had to be content meeting Sena leaders like Anil Desai, to whom he proposed an informal alliance.
The proposal reportedly entails MNS not fielding any candidates in constituencies where the Sena is strong and in return the Sena would not field any candidates that had sitting MNS corporators.
“We are not setting any conditions about share of seats. The MNS considers itself the Sena’s younger brother,” said Nandgaonkar after the meeting.
The leader also said that MNS president Raj Thackeray had called Matoshree at least seven times over the last few days to offer unconditional partnership with the Sena, but to no avail.
According to political observers, the MNS is going all out to woo Sena to better its poll prospects. The party had faced crushing defeats in the last Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections.
Both Sena and BJP leaders had predicted that the Thackeray’s might form an alliance if the former allies chose to contest alone.