Zee Media Bureau
Mumbai: Within days after former BJP president Nitin Gadkari met Raj Thackeray to discuss strategies over General Elections, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief on Sunday announced to lend his support to Narendra Modi for prime minister.
Thackery, while declaring the first list of MNS candidates for upcoming Lok Sabha polls, said that the party will back Modi for PM. He also said that the party`s MPs will make all efforts in this direction.
"We will contest the Lok Sabha elections. I will show my party`s strength during the elections. We will support Narendra Modi for the PM`s post. Modi should become the Prime Minister of the country," said Raj addressing his party workers on the eighth foundation day of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) at the Shanmukhananda hall here.
Raj also announced names of seven MNS candidates who would be contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The seven nominees of MNS declared are - MLA Bala Nandgaonkar, close confidante of Raj who will contest from Mumbai South seat, Aditya Shirodkar (Mumbai South Central), actor-director Mahesh Manjrekar (Mumbai North-West), Raju Patil (Kalyan-Dombivli), Ashok Khandebharad (Shirur), Dr Pradeep Pawar (Nashik) and Deepak Paigude from Pune.
BJP leaders including Leader of opposition Vinod Tawde and Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar along with Gadkari had met Thackeray earlier in the week. They had requested him to refrain from upcoming elections and in return the party will support MNS in Assembly elections scheduled to be held later this year.
Thackeray had earlier slammed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for failing to mention Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray`s name during his mammoth rally in the city in December.
Thackeray made an announcement today during the party`s 8th foundation day celebration.
"We are a political party and all elections are important to us. MNS is not some `mitra mandal`," party vice president Vageesh Saraswat had said earlier.
Gadkari had said that the meeting between the two parties was aimed at preventing splitting of anti-Congress-NCP votes in the state.
In 2009, MNS had contested 12 Lok Sabha seats including all in Mumbai, Thane as well as the Nashik and Pune Lok sabha seat polling more than one lakh votes in each of the constituency.
In the Assembly elections, the party won 13 seats.
(With PTI inputs)