Mumbai: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) President Raj Thackeray on Monday confirmed that he has got an offer to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), but he has not yet taken a final call on it, here on Monday.
Speaking at a party meeting here, Raj Thackeray — the estranged cousin of former Chief Minister and Shiv Sena (UBT) President Uddhav Thackeray — did not reveal who made the offer, or when.
However, he mentioned that he did not take any decision as the Shiv Sena faction of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) group led by Deputy CM Ajit Pawar are part of the Shiv Sena-BJP government in Maharashtra headed by Eknath Shinde.
“As Shinde and Ajit Pawar are with the government, and since the BJP has not clarified what will be done with Ajit Pawar, I have not been able to take any decision on this,” Raj Thackeray said.
He further contended that Ajit Pawar has gone to the BJP with the blessings of NCP President Sharad Pawar, and very soon the remaining faction of the NCP will also join Ajit Pawar.
The MNS chief said that since 2014, Sharad Pawar has always adopted a ‘pro-Narendra Modi’ stance and predicted that after the Ajit Pawar group, the Sharad Pawar camp will also join the state government.
Ruling Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Shirsat and others welcomed Raj Thackeray’s statements on the BJP offer and said that if he took it, “that will be beneficial for the MNS” and the three-party alliance in power, while NCP MLA Rohit Pawar, the grand-nephew of Sharad Pawar, rubbished the MNS leader’s forecast.
Raj Thackeray added that he addressed the party workers and leaders on the 2024 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, though he expressed doubts whether the planned civic elections are likely to be held anytime soon given the current political scenario in the state.