New Delhi: A merger between Maharashtra’s two prominent political outfits - Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) –may take place ahead of the 2014 General Elections if all remains well between their respective chiefs Uddhav and his cousin Raj Thackeray.
The two political parties, which are trying to capture the void created by the demise of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray and become the flag-bearer of the ‘Maratha’ cause, have to compete with each other in order to gain an upper hand in Maharashtra politics.
In an interview to Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna, the outfit’s chief Uddhav Thackeray hinted at the possibility of a reconciliation with his cousin Raj Thackeray.
Shiv Sena president, who is not averse to joining hands with MNS, was quoted as saying, “This is a question that the two of us (Raj and I) have to sit together and discuss. The two of us have to decide the answer together."
During the interview, Uddhav spoke about the advantage of the two political outfits coming together to save the spit in the Marathi votebank ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Later commenting on the issue, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, “Uddhav’s statement to Saamna has made his line of thinking clear to everyone. It is now up to the MNS chief to speak on the issue and clear the air on what is being speculated.”
Raut also added that Shiv Sena, under Uddhav, will continue to adhere to late Bal Thackeray’s policies in future.
“What he (Uddhav) said is also the vision of his party,” Raut told reporters though refusing to give a direct reply on the question of Shiv Sena-MNS merger.
Raj Thackeray had split from the party in 2006 to form the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) when the Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray asked his son Uddhav to lead the party.