RPI (A) leader Ramdas Athawale downplayed MNS’ endorsement of Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP and said Raj Thackeray’s support for Modi is immaterial.
“BJP does not need support of MNS for Modi’s PM bid. We know how MNS is going to perform in elections this time and the issue of Raj’s support to Modi does not arise at all,” said Athawale.
He was reacting to MNS chief’s support to the BJP’s PM nominee at a function held in Mumbai.
Raj had also released his first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls. MNS has fielded candidates mainly against the Shiv Sena nominees in a bid to scuttle the prospects of Uddhav Thackeray-led party in upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Athawale, whose party is one of the constituents of ‘Mahayuti’, the grand alliance of Sena, BJP and other outfits, said by backing Modi, Raj Thackeray wanted to create a rift between Shiv Sena and BJP.
“Till recently, Raj was opposing Modi as PM candidate…What made him change his mind is interesting to know,” the Dalit leader said.
In his reply to a query whether NCP chief Sharad Pawar was behind MNS’ move to contest Lok Sabha elections so as to damage NDA’s prospects, Athawale said, “Only time could tell”.
On the damage caused to crop of farmers by recent hailstorm in the state, Athawale said both the Centre and state governments should rush to the aid of farmers.
Athawale today led a morcha of locals demanding arrest of killers of a teenage girl Priyanka Mazmule, who was allegedly murdered and her body dumped on railway tracks recently.
The locals have accused police of conducting a shoddy investigation and took out the morcha to district collectorate.