Raj Thackeray should merge MNS with Shiv Sena: Athawale



Mumbai: Republican Party of India (RPI) leader Ramdas Athawale said on Friday that Raj Thackeray should merge his Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) with the Shiv Sena.

"Raj should merge MNS with the Sena. We will welcome it," Athawale, who is now a part of the Sena-BJP-RPI alliance, told reporters here.

"MNS is not a political alternative. At present, the Sena-BJP-RPI alliance is a strong alternative to the ruling Congress-NCP combine. If Raj Thackeray joins the Shiv Sena, our alliance will bag absolute majority in the state assembly elections," former Lok Sabha member Athawale said.

After he formally took over as president of the Shiv Sena, its president Uddhav Thackeray hinted recently that he is open to discuss some sort of a reconciliation with his estranged cousin, Raj Thackeray, who broke away in 2006 to form the MNS.

In an interview to the Shiv Sena mouthpiece, Saamna, Uddhav had said, "Efforts should be there from both sides. The Shiv Sena will welcome anyone if he is ready to come with an open mind".

However, Raj chose not to react. The only comment he has offered so far is, "I will speak at the right time".

PTI