BJP washes its hands of Raj Thackeray
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MNS chief Raj Thackeray questioning the integrity of BJP leader Eknath Khadse in the House has stung the BJP hard, making the party state leaders pledge to have nothing to do with Raj Thackeray or his party in future.
The BJP state leaders, who until recently had been trying to rope in Raj Thackeray to strengthen their poll battle against the Cong-NCP, is now eyeing Raj with suspicion and saying he is playing into the hands of the ruling alliance.
The attack on Khadse has not only distanced the BJP from the MNS, it has also served to bring it closer to ally Shiv Sena, a U-turn from the BJP state leaders' efforts to ally with the MNS, even at the cost of souring ties with the Sena.
On Tuesday, BJP state president Sudhir Mungantiwar summed up the mood in the BJP-Sena. "MNS is a closed chapter now. We have nothing to do with Raj," he said.
Sources close to the parties said that Sena and BJP leaders, in a closed-door meeting, decided to discount the MNS from their poll strategy .
Sena president Uddhav Thackeray reportedly told the BJP, "Good that it happened to you. You were chasing a mirage, and living in illusion by according higher priority to the MNS."
Senior Sena leader Subash Desai said, "The BJP appears to have seen the true colours of the MNS. We have gone through all this in the past."
Of late, BJP has been showing reverence to MNS. The BJP had reportedly apprised their central leaders of the significance of an alliance with MNS, even if it came at the cost of severing ties with the Sena.
The central leadership had reportedly warned BJP state leader against such a step, the Sena being a trusted ally for long.
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