Two months after Raj Thackeray drove estranged cousin Uddhav Thackeray to Matoshree after the latter was discharged from Lilavati hospital in Mumbai, the Shiv Sena has proposed an alliance with the MNS for the upcoming Nanded civic body elections.
If the two Senas come together, it will be the first pre-poll alliance between the warring parties. There have been post-poll understandings between the Sena and MNS in the past, including Ambernath, Kalyan-Dombivli and Thane.
Shiv Sena leader Suhas Samant told DNA that the party had agreed in-principle to enter into a pre-poll alliance with the Raj Thackeray-led MNS in the Nanded Waghala Municipal Corporation (NWMC). The 81-member civic body goes to polls on October 14.
“Our local unit has discussed the pre-poll alliance with the MNS... Uddhavji has agreed in-principle as well. However, we are yet to receive a response from them,” said Samant, sampark pramukh for Nanded. He said the proposed alliance would prevent a division of votes and help take on former chief minister Ashok Chavan, a Congress MLA from Bhokar in Nanded, who holds control over the civic body.
Vinod Pawade, district chief for MNS at Nanded, confirmed that the Sena had approached his party.
“The Shiv Sena has kept a proposal before us, but the MNS high command has yet to take a decision,” he said.
Shiv Sena MLC and spokesperson Neelam Gorhe said discussions with the MNS were on, but nothing concrete had materialised as yet. “We have cordial relations at the local level, but everything depends on the high command,” she said. A senior Shiv Sena leader said: “We are open to joining hands with the MNS. Our local leaders are ready for it.”
The Shiv Sena is already forging an alliance with the BJP and RPI in Nanded. The Shiv Sena and BJP could get only 11 and three members elected to the house respectively. The MNS has one corporator.