Awesome Threesome

0
255

raj thakeray, sharad pawar, ashish shelar, MNC, BJP, NCPSince BJP’s more than two decades old ally Shiv Sena proclaimed to conclude their brotherhood and go solo in the forthcoming elections, the action-packed state politics has become a hot topic of debate among political analysts. At a time when Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena is struggling to survive and find themselves a room in the state politics, experts observe both BJP and NCP are trying to derive political mileage by setting a silver-toned mutuality with Raj Thackeray.

In a significant development, Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar, who took a jibe at MNS president a month back and advised him not to punch above his weight while slamming his whoop for ‘Narendra Modi-mukt Bharat’, was spotted outside Krishnakunj on Saturday morning. The duo had a closed-door discussion for about an hour. Though the details of the discussion are yet to be known, as per sources, the discussions were on the backdrop of current political developments in Maharashtra.

NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad stated, “Leaders of political parties can meet each other anytime; Ashish Shelar had met Sharad Pawar too. But, nothing can be predicted from meetings. Courtesy relationships should not get a political angle. Raj Thackeray is known to be a friend of everybody.”

The meeting came in the wake of one between Shelar and NCP chief Sharad Pawar on April 10 and another between MNS honcho and Pawar in March. While the Raj-Pawar meet brought the possibility of MNS joining the anti-BJP front under the spotlight, the Ashish-Raj one is looked upon as BJP’s effort to bridge the rift with MNS before 2019 Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari expressed, “There is no such political strategy in Ashish Shelar meeting MNS chief. Shelar is a friend of Thackeray and they often meet each other. We don’t consider MNS a game-changing factor in the upcoming election.”

In a political scenario, when BJP’s strong ally Sena has left the former alone in the battlefield, the faded Modi-wave has made 2019 a crucial election year for the ruling party. Experts consider that mingling with MNS can be observed as a strategic move by BJP to sideline and create pressure on Shiv Sena. While others see this meeting as a shot to put a stop on the possibilities of strengthening the anti-BJP club in case of NCP-MNS union.

Congress Spokesperson Dr Raju Waghmare said, “Any such political meeting mostly comes up with some political discussions. BJP might have a strategy to polarize the votes of the anti-BJP alliance. They are trying to prevent parties joining hands against them. BJP is trying to create conflict between other political parties to break their unity. If Shiv Sena decides to contest elections separately, then BJP will try to split Sena’s votes. We are open to discussions regarding alliances; but, Congress will never compromise their ideologies that favour secularism and development.”

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has seen it all in the last few years. There were few instances where MNS fired up to address various issues, however, their enthusiasm fails to last long and the party goes out of sight quite often. Things worsened when six out of its seven corporators joined its arch rival Shiv Sena last year.

MNS leader Shalini Thackeray said, “Ashish Shelar is a friend of Raj Thackeray and I don’t have any idea about their meeting. Only MNS chief can give details. Raj Thackeray already appealed for a Modi-mukt Bharat. Till now, we have decided to fight the election alone. Rest will be decided by Raj Thackeray himself.”

Time will disclose who all will be on which side before 2019 polls; though experts find it hard to predict about how MNS can be helpful for BJP, they are quite hopeful of a strong and tough fight if Raj Thackeray joins hands with opposition to make his vision of Modi-mukt Bharat a reality.

When AV spoke to Ashish Shelar about the issue, he refused to comment about it.

Help Parallel Media, Support Journalism, Free Press, Afternoon Voice