Wednesday, 1 October 2014

‘MNS to be gainer in poll squabbles of former allies’

MUMBAI: The MNS has begun to see an opportunity in the recent split in the state's two major political alliances ahead of the assembly election.

MNS leaders say they can garner more seats because of the growing bitterness between the Shiv Sena-BJP on the one hand and the Congress-NCP on the other.

"As the poll campaign gathers steam, the Sena will target the BJP and vice versa. The same will be the case with the Congress-NCP. The voters may accept our party as a viable alternative," said senior MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar. The MNS legislator is in the fray to retain his Sewri constituency. The MNS is optimistic of earning the Sena support in constituencies where the Sena's candidates are relatively weak compared to the BJP, said an MNS functionary on Wednesday. He pointed out that the Thackeray cousins, who have not been targeting each other since the Sena broke ties with the BJP, may agree on the proposal. "It is true that in his speech in Kandivli last Sunday, Rajsaheb criticized Uddhavji for not walking out on the BJP much earlier. However, the words came more out of anguish than anger over the manner in which the BJP treated Uddhavji," he added.

Raj Thackeray gave indications of his plan at a party conclave last Sunday. The MNS president urged voters to ignore 'yuti' (Sena-BJP) and 'aghadi' (Congress-NCP) and instead support the MNS candidates. "Let the two dogs quarrel. The cat will run away with the juicy bone," remarked MNS legislator Pravin Darekar. Currently, Raj is on a 10-day election tour of Vidarbha and Marathwada and will address nearly 10 poll meetings there.

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