MNS will fight the civic polls independently, he says

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray said on Wednesday that his party did not need an alliance with any party and that it would go it alone in the Municipal Corporation polls. He was speaking at a function held on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of his party.

Mr. Thackeray's comments follow the proposal, made by senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Gopinath Munde, for an alliance of the BJP, the Shiv Sena and the MNS for the civic polls.

“I am all for ‘Ekla chalo re.' I don't need any alliance. We have to fight the elections independently,” he said.

He affirmed that his party would not stand in the way of the development of the Jaitapur nuclear power project, but pointed to the failure of the government to take the people into confidence.

“The MNS' policy is not to come in the way of development. Maharashtra needs power, but lathi-charging and arresting people will not resolve the issue. How can the locals be kept in the dark about the project? Their lands were being taken away. Shouldn't they have been told,” he asked. He also questioned the basis for bringing in so many power projects in the verdant Konkan region.

“Why do you need so many power projects in the Konkan, which abounds in natural beauty? There are [already] four or five such projects [in the area]. Can't you take them to some other districts? They say you have the seashore. What do States without a shoreline do? Don't they generate power,” he asked.

Mr. Thackeray spoke of a conspiracy to undermine the strength of the Marathi community. Many politicians had bought thousands of acres of land in the Konkan. “Even [Congress leader] Kripa Shankar Singh owns 300 acres in the region. The people in the Konkan and many middlemen, including the Marathi people, are parcelling away land pieces,” he said.