BJP welcomes plan of estranged Thackeray brothers to patch up

Mumbai/Patna/New Delhi, Jan. 30 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday hailed Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray's proposal to patch up with his estranged cousin Raj Thackeray, founder of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), and forge a strong alliance.

BJP leader Gopinath Munde said the MNS and Shiv Sena should join hands.

"BJP wants that Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and Shiv Sena should join hands, but nothing will work according to our wish. But in the remarks made by Uddhav Thackeray he has clearly indicated that he is in favour of this proposal. And he has never said no to it," he told the media in Mumbai.

Munde further said that the BJP would make efforts in this direction only if both the parties agree and with the consent of the Shiv Sena.

"If both the parties will agree then I will make efforts in this direction but we are with Shiv Sena and will continue to be with them. We want them to come together but we will make efforts only if Shiv Sena wants us to. We will not work in this direction without the approval of Shiv Sena," he added.

Another BJP leader C.P. Thakur echoed similar views on the issue, and said that it was a good step.

"We feel that if both the cousin brothers (Uddhav Thackeray and Raj Thackeray) will come together then it is a good step. Both have a separate influence. If both unite then it will enhance their strength. If they will become powerful then it will also strengthen the NDA," he told the media in Patna.

The President of Maharashtra state unit of Congress Party, Manikrao Thakre, on his part termed the latest developments as weakness on the part of Shiv Sena.

Thakre, who was accompanied by Maharastra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, said 'as all of you are aware about the political scenario in Maharashtra and how MNS and Shiv Sena make remarks on each other'.

"But they might have thought that there is no point in fighting alone and it clearly shows them as weak, the way the Shiv Sena is making such remarks," he told the media in New Delhi.

On his part, the Chief Minister refused to say anything on the warring brothers patching up.

"Do you expect me to comment on both of them?" he said.

In an interview with the Sena mouthpiece, Saamna, Uddhav Thackeray said, "If Raj Thackeray wants an alliance with the Shiv Sena, we will welcome him. I welcome every one who is genuinely willing to join hands with us."

Raj Thackeray split from the Shiv Sena in 2006 when his uncle late Bal Thackeray made it clear that it would be son Uddhav who would be his successor.

Over the last year, Raj fuelled speculation about a patch-up, visiting his ailing uncle at 'Matoshree', several times. He also visited Uddhav in hospital when the latter underwent first an angiography, and then an angioplasty.

Bal Thackeray passed away on November 17 last year. (ANI)

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