Mumbai: Maharashtra Congress has rejected the proposal of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to include Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) of Raj Thackeray in Mahagathbandhan (grand-alliance) against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state.
In a meeting held to decide which political parties can be inducted in the grand-alliance to dethrone BJP from the power at the Centre and from the state, Nawab Malik, NCP spokespersons suggested MNS be included in the alliance. Malik said that each and every party which is against BJP should be accommodated in a grand alliance to avoid division of votes.
“Though MNS has no presence in the assembly of Lok Sabha, there are youths who have faith in MNS leadership and they are voters of MNS. Raj Thackeray, if contest assembly poll separately, he will grab the votes of Marathi speaking people in Mumbai, Thane and Pune. This will not affect only Shiv Sena, but also votes of Congress and NCP,” said Malik.
He added, “All Marathi speaking people are not voters of only MNS and Shiv Sena. They had voted Congress and NCP in previous polls. If MNS will join the grand-alliance, we can avoid division of votes.” His idea, however, was not digested to Congress leaders. Sanjay Nirupam, president of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) opposed the proposal. He said, “In North Indians, image of MNS is very bad. MNS chief Raj Thackeray is known as the villain for Uttar Bharatiyas and if he will be part of the grand-alliance led by Congress, we will lose voters from North Indians.”
“Alliance with MNS in Mumbai will not affect only in Maharashtra state assembly poll, but will also affect in Uttar Pradesh and other part where North Indians are in sizeable numbers,” said Nirupam. At present, the proposal is suspended. Raj has maintained relations with NCP chief Sharad Pawar and that might be the reason, NCP has tested by bringing the proposal in a meeting.