Raj Thackeray seeks to sew up a broad alliance against BJP for the 2019 elections. His party, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) may join the Congress-NCP alliance in the state.
Thackeray in a recent meeting lambasted PM Modi and spoke of Modi-Mukt India in 2019. “Ending the BJP regime would be India’s third Independence,” he said.
Raj Thackeray had 40-minute talks with NCP president Sharad Pawar in Mumbai last Saturday, which set the tone for new political equations.
Seeing MNS making alliances, it is possible that the Shiv Sena may give up its idea of going solo in the next election and forge a pre-poll partnership with BJP in order to build a powerful Hindutva votebank.
“If Raj Thackeray teams up with the Congress-NCP, the three parties will collectively eat into the Marathi votebank. In view of this, the Sena can’t take any risk. It will have to join hands with BJP and ditto is the case with BJP,” said a senior Shive Sena leader.
The Congress has started consultations with NCP for a pre-poll alliance, and it is possible that Sharad Pawar may take the MNS along as well. They may put pressure on agricultural issues such as Sharma Patil, The Dhule Agriculturist and the recent farmers’ morcha to Mumbai, etc. Raj on other hand could pay the Marathi Card in Mumbai Metropolitan region.