Mumbai: Republican Party of India leader Ramdas Athawale, whose party is part of the Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI alliance in Maharashtra, alleged here on Wednesday that MNS chief Raj Thackeray had fielded candidates against the alliance at the behest of Congress and NCP.
"He (Raj) is the tool of the Congress-NCP alliance and dances to their tunes. His overt support for Narendra Modi is merely a vote grabbing technique. Raj`s anger is towards the good equations I share with his estranged cousin Uddhav Thackeray," Athawale said.
He said that there is no need for a new partner in the already formidable Sena-BJP-RPI alliance, indicating that the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is not welcome to join the saffron-led alliance.
He also raked up the issue of alleged unhealthy food served to his estranged uncle and late Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray.
"The culture of Maharashtra is not about raking up the issue of greasy vada-pav or chicken soup," he said, referring to a statement made by Raj Thackeray during a public rally when he had alleged that unhealthy food had been served to the Sena patriarch.
Downplaying Raj`s criticism calling him "Lalu Prasad of Maharashtra", Athawale said that he took that as a compliment and claimed that he is a strong leader from Maharashtra, like the former Bihar chief minister continues to be in his state.