Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde on Tuesday admitted that he had approached Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray for support in his electoral battle in the Beed constituency. “I called him and asked for his support because I wanted to win by the highest margin,” Mr. Munde told reporters.

The equation between the Shiv Sena and its oldest ally, BJP, hit a low after the latter reached out to Mr. Raj Thackeray in the run-up to the polls through the former party president Nitin Gadkari. The Shiv Sena and the MNS are political rivals.

The BJP later clarified that the Shiv Sena would remain its ally and that Mr. Gadkari had acted in his personal capacity.

However, Mr. Raj Thackeray later embarrassed the BJP, declaring at a public rally that Mr. Munde had called him repeatedly to ask for support and that he had agreed. Mr. Munde has now confirmed that he did make the call.

The Shiv Sena has not reacted to his comments.

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