In a development that raises eyebrows, Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil met Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray in Mumbai on Friday. The meeting took place at Raj Thackeray’s residence here. Senior MNS leaders were also present at today’s meeting.
The meeting between the two leaders has triggered talks about a possible MNS-BJP alliance for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections. Elections to the country’s richest corporation are likely to be held in February next year. The current tenure of the Shiv Sena-ruled BMC will end on March 7 next year. Besides BMC, the terms of 17 other corporations including Thane, Pune, Nashik and Nagpur will also end soon and elections could take place.
Patil had earlier met Raj Thackeray on July 18. However, former CM Devendra Fadnavis had then ruled out the possibility of an alliance with MNS. Notably, Raj Thackeray is the cousin brother of Shiv Sena supremo and CM Uddhav Thackeray who heads an alliance government comprising the NCP and Congress.
The BJP and Shiv Sena had shared the power in the state until the latter exited out of the pact and joined the ranks with the NCP and Congress post-2019 Assembly polls results. The BJP is the principal opposition party in the state.
Earlier on Thursday, Patil had said that although Raj’s ideology is not acceptable to the party, “it is important to meet each other so I will meet him”.
“There is no possibility of a BJP-MNS alliance because the latter’s views about other states are unacceptable to us. Despite differences of opinion, it’s important to meet each other so I will meet him,” he had told reporters yesterday.
In the 2017 BMC elections, the Shiv Sena and BJP had together won 179 of 227 seats.