A day after MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar visited Matoshree with the offer of an unconditional alliance, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray struck down the proposal, saying the Sena would not have a tie-up with any party. “We are entering the field with complete preparation. I have not received any offer of an alliance. We will not have an alliance with any party,” Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said. On Sunday, Nandgaonakar, a senior MNS leader, had visited Uddhav’s residence and met Sena minister Subhash Desai to discuss the alliance proposal. MNS leaders had said they were ready to join hands with the Sena without any condition.
Even the denial from Uddhav seems to have not dampened the MNS’s enthusiasm for the proposal. “As a younger brother, we are ready for an alliance. There is still time, the Sena needs to consider this offer,” Nandgaonkar said. “We are reaching out for the sake of Mumbai’s betterment. We have no preconditions. We, as the younger brother, would be willing to accept any seats the Sena offers,” he added.
Nandgaonkar said the alliance would only help the Sena. He also claimed that Raj Thackeray was keen on a tie-up between the two parties. “Raj Thackeray called up Mathoshree seven times, thrice in my presence. I understood what was going on in his mind and that is the reason I took the lead to approach Matoshree,” Nandgaonkar said.
The two cousins have been estranged since 2006 — when Raj split from the Shiv Sena — and have maintained an on-off relationship, visiting and communicating occasionally in private. The MNS leadership has in the past claimed that it has always hinted at the two parties joining hands, but the Sena has seemed unsure of it.