Mumbai: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Chief Raj Thackeray Saturday revealed that his party voted for Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidates in the legislative council elections as part of a deal to get the suspension of four of its legislators revoked.
Thackeray made the announcement at a press conference at his home in the wake of allegations by the Shiv Sena that money power was behind the defeat of its candidate, Anil Parab, and the victory of Congress-supported Independent candidate Vijay Sawant in the biennial polls held here Thursday.
Explaining the MNS stand, Thackeray said four party legislators have been under suspension since over six months.
Shishir Shinde, Ram Kadam, Ramesh Vanjale and Vasant Geete were suspended for creating a ruckus and attacking Samajwadi Party state president Abu Asim Azmi in the legislature late last year.
"Cancellation of suspension of our legislators is of paramount importance to me as we consider their continued suspension as injustice to the people who elected them," he pointed out.
Responding to the Shiv Sena allegations, Thackeray said the MNS was not bound by or tied to any party.
"My party is an independent party, whom to vote for or not is our individual decision. Nobody has the right to advise us what to do or not to do," he said.
He countered the Shiv Sena by asking on what basis it had sent individuals like Pritish Nandy, Rajkumar Dhoot, Bharatkumar Raut and others to the Rajya Sabha or Neelam Gorhe and Lalchand Rathod to the legislative council.
The MNS chief pointed out that the Shiv Sena never accepts defeat in any elections gracefully and always puts the blame on others.
"After their rout in the last assembly elections, they blamed the people of Maharashtra, and now this. They should accept defeat gracefully," he said.
In the council elections, three candidates each of the Congress and NCP, two from the BJP, one from the Shiv Sena and one Independent supported by the Congress were declared winners.