After Uddhav’s reconciliation hints

After Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray hinted at a possible rapprochement with his estranged cousin Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, the Sena’s ally – the Republican Party of India (Athawale) on Friday said the inclusion of the MNS within the ‘Mahayuti’ fold would strengthen the Opposition in Maharashtra.

“The two [cousin] brothers fighting side by side would bode well for the State’s politics, especially in putting up a defence against the ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government… The Opposition would only benefit by Raj’s inclusion within our fold. Even the late Balasaheb Thackeray wished that the estranged cousins should come together,” said RPI (A) Chief Ramdas Athawale, urging Raj to cast his lot with the Sena.

In view of the 2014 Assembly elections and the Sena’s ambiguous political fortunes in the absence of its founder Bal Thackeray, all members in the Mahayuti [the political alliance of the Sena, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the RPI (A)] have stretched their necks to woo Raj and his MNS, following Uddhav’s ‘conciliatory’ statements in the Saamana (the Sena’s mouthpiece).

Mr. Athawale’s comments are interesting, as there has never been any love lost between him and Raj in the past. While workers of both parties have frequently indulged in showdowns and fisticuffs over issues like the construction of the Ambedkar memorial, both Raj and Mr. Athawale have not missed a good opportunity to take verbal pot-shots at each other.

  • The Opposition would benefit by Raj’s inclusion within our fold: Mr. Athawale

  • Following Uddhav’s reconciliatory hints, the Mahayuti is trying to woo Raj Thackeray and the MNS