Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray on Saturday sent a bouquet to Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to congratulate him for the grand success of his party in the Lok Sabha elections. Although Raj did not personally visit his estranged cousin to convey the “congratulations and best wishes”, the developments are significant given the bitter differences between the Thackerays.
MNS emissary Sachin More carried the bouquet to Matoshree, Uddhav’s residence in Bandra. Sources in the Shiv Sena said the bouquet was received on behalf of Uddhav by an aide, Adhesh Bandekar.
Sources in the MNS told The Indian Express, “It was just a courtesy. Raj wanted to congratulate Uddhav for the excellent performance in the Lok Sabha elections.”
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The MNS, which contested nine Lok Sabha seats this time, failed to make any impact. It not only lost in all seats, but also failed to record more than 1.6 per cent of the total votes polled.
In the past, senior BJP leaders Nitin Gadkari and Gopinath Munde have taken the initiative to bring the MNS into the safforn alliance in the state, but Uddhav had objected to it.
A close aide of Uddhav dismissed Raj’s latest gesture saying they hoped it was just a courtesy. “Why should the Sena take any new initiative to reconcile the differences with MNS? In the Lok Sabha elections, Raj fielded seven candidates against Sena. It was clear he was trying to split Sena’s votes. Now, we have proved our strength,” he said.