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Fadnavis visits Raj Thackeray, triggers speculation ahead of BMC polls

Fadnavis called on MNS chief Raj Thackeray, sparking off speculation in political circle about a possible tie-up between the two parties ahead of the crucial Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation polls

Devendra Fadnavis | Raj Thackeray | BMC polls

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Devendra Fadnavis

Senior BJP leader on Wednesday called on Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief here, sparking off speculation in political circle about a possible tie-up between the two parties ahead of the crucial Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections early next year.

Fadnavis and his wife Amruta met Raj Thackeray, his wife Sharmila at the latter's new residence 'Shivteerth' at Dadar in central Mumbai. All four of them were seen chatting in the balcony of the MNS president's house.

While BJP office-bearers called it a cordial family meeting, political observers said it assumes significance in view of the crucial Mumbai civic body polls.

During his tenure as the Maharashtra chief minister between 2014 and 2019, Fadnavis had maintained cordial relations with

In the 2017 BMC polls, the BJP had made giant strides in the Shiv Sena citadel of Mumbai, winning 82 seats. However, the Shiv Sena had retained the power by bagging 84 seats.

The BJP now eyes to clinch a clear lead over the Shiv Sena, which has been controlling the civic body for the last three decades.

In the last BMC election, the Congress was relegated to the third position with 31 seats, whereas the NCP and MNS got 9 and 7 seats respectively. Later that year, six out of the seven MNS corporators had joined the Shiv Sena, giving the party an edge over the BJP.

Raj Thackeray, who had run a vigorous campaign against the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, had in 2020 unveiled his party's new saffron flag and declared support to the NDA government for evicting Pakistani and Bangladeshi "infiltrators", among other things, indicating his shift to vocal Hindutva.

Several BJP leaders from Maharashtra, including state party chief Chandrakant Patil, Ashish Shelar and Prasad Lad, have also met in the last few months.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Wed, November 24 2021. 15:27 IST