Ever since Maharashtra Navnirman Sena supremo Raj Thackeray had projected himself the chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming assembly polls in Maharashtra even Uddhav Thackeray too is keen to contest the election with an eye on the CM’s post. After the formation of MNS in 2006 both the cousins have been at loggerheads as Uddhav has always criticised Raj for splitting the Marathi vote bank. Raj Thackeray’s MNS had not failed to win a single seat in the recently concluded Lok Sabha election but he has taken a leaf out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s style of campaigning which resulted into a thumping victory for the BJP.
According to sources from Shiv Sena, “Uddhav is keen to contest the assembly election for giving a tough fight to Raj Thackeray but the party has not issued any official statement pertaining to this. The seat sharing arrangement is already being discussed between Shiv Sena and BJP. Uddhav had already said that party workers want him to contest the assembly election. Both the parties are confident of increasing their tally in the state.”
If Uddhav does decide to contest the assembly election, due to be held later this year, Maharashtra could witness a high-stakes political battle between the estranged cousins.
Raj who had upset the poll calculations of Shiv Sena by splitting the Marathi votes is desperately looking forward to reviving the party ahead of assembly election. Moreover, it’s vote share also decreased from 4.06 per cent in 2009 to 1.5 per cent in 2014.
On the other hand, even the BJP leader Gopinath Munde is seeing himself as a contender for the CM’s post in Maharashtra after his party’s impressive performance in the Lok Sabha election. According to sources there is a possibility of triangular contest to be held between these parties.
The MNS chief will be the first member of the Thackeray family to contest an election. Neither Shiv Sena patriarch late Balasaheb Thackeray nor his son and current Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray have ever contested an election.