Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Tuesday announced that he would not join the BJP led- National Democratic Alliance after the Lok Sabha polls, but will extend support from outside.
“Our MPs will not be ministers in centre as we will not be a part of the NDA,” said Mr. Thackeray in an election campaign rally held in Jogeshwari in suburban Mumbai.
He was apparently responding to the BJP president Rajnath Singh’s remarks, where he asked the MNS chief to either join the NDA or to merge his party with the BJP, before extending support to Narendra Modi.
“If he (Mr. Modi) is not complaining about me extending support to him, then why you are worried?” he asked Mr. Singh.
Attacking the North Indian migrant workers in Mumbai, Mr. Thackeray held them responsible for the disintegration of Mumbai’s civic amenities.
“If he becomes the prime minister, my appeal to Mr. Modi would be to only concentrate on bringing development to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand. It will solve the majority of Mumbai’s problems,” Mr. Thackeray taunted.
In yet another gesture of increasing closeness between the MNS and the BJP, Mr. Thackeray extended his party’s support to the senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde who is contesting the election from the Beed constituency.
“He (Mr. Munde) called me repeatedly seeking my support to which I agreed,” he said.
Former BJP president Nitin Gadkari had met Mr. Thackeray last month, requesting him to not contest elections to avoid splitting of votes. BJP’s oldest alliance partner the Shiv Sena had expressed its displeasure over the meeting.
Meanwhile, in a campaign rally addressed by Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on late Tuesday night, the former Sena MP Mohan Rawale who had quit the party to join the NCP returned to the Sena.