On Friday, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray met his estranged cousin and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray at the latter’s home sparking speculation about a possible coalition ahead of the impending civic polls early next year.
According to sources, Raj, who lives in Dadar, drove to Uddhav’s residence ‘Matoshree’ in Bandra for the meeting. Apart from the brothers, no party aides were present at the meeting.
In 2005, Raj had quit Shiv Sena and formed a new political party, MNS the next year. At the time, the MNS chief had blamed Uddhav and his ‘political friends’ for the downfall of uncle Bal Thackeray’s party. Uddhav, who turned 56 years old recently, has been handling party affairs since 2004.
Later, in 2012, after Uddhav underwent an angiography, he was driven home by Raj, giving rise to speculation of a patch up between the two.
Uddhav was admitted to Lilavati Hospital in Bandra after he complained of chest pain. On hearing the news, Raj, who was on way to Alibaug to attend a party meet, had rushed to the hospital.
The BMC polls are crucial for both Uddhav and Raj, who regularly take potshots at each other.
In the recent past the relationship between political allies Sena and BJP has been a little strained, with prominent leaders publicly criticizing the other party. While BJP holds a majority in the state government, Sena has retained its rule over the BMC.
The performance of MNS drastically suffered in the last Assembly polls where only one party MLA was elected, a significant drop from the 13 MNS MLAs elected in the 2009 polls.