Maharashtra BJP president Chandrashekhar Bawankule did not explicitly rule out a tie-up with Raj Thackeray-led MNS while speaking to the media on Saturday.
Maharashtra BJP president Chandrashekhar Bawankule did not explicitly rule out a tie-up with Raj Thackeray-led MNS while addressing a press briefing on Saturday. He was responding to questions pertaining to the participation of CM Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis in the Diwali celebrations organised by MNS at Shivaji Park in Mumbai on Friday. While the bonhomie between Shinde, Fadnavis and Raj Thackeray gave rise to speculations, Bawankule played down its political significance. At the same time, he hinted that BJP might mull an alliance for the Assembly polls scheduled two years later.
Chandrashekhar Bawankule remarked, “I say 1,00,000%, there is no such politics. Our state’s culture is that leaders from all parties come together somewhere. Diwali is a festival where all of us should come together. All three leaders are cultured. That’s why they will get together on many occasions.”
He added, “There are two years to go for the Assembly election. The situation is changing every day. So who can say what will happen in two years?”
MNS to take call on alliance
Earlier, MNS chief Raj Thackeray kept the doors open for forming an alliance for the upcoming civic body polls in Thane, Mumbai and other cities. He chaired a crucial meeting of party workers from across Maharashtra on October 11. Speaking to the media after the meeting, senior MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar revealed that Thackeray had exhorted party workers to harbour a positive mindset. The MNS chief also reportedly affirmed that his party can emerge as a viable alternative amid the current political situation in Maharashtra.
While the JP Nadda-led party has ruled out an alliance with Raj Thackeray from time to time, an implicit understanding between the BJP-Eknath Shinde camp and MNS might prove to be a potent force in the upcoming polls. The last meeting between Devendra Fadnavis and the MNS supremo took place on July 15 when the latter was recuperating after undergoing hip replacement surgery. Their bonhomie was on display after Raj Thackeray lauded the BJP leader for taking oath as the Deputy CM on the instructions of the party’s high command and stressed that it cannot be considered a ‘demotion’.