Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday took a dig at former chief minister and his bete noire Narayan Rane, a day after the latter merged his political outfit with the ruling BJP in the run-up to the October 21 assembly elections.
Addressing a rally in Rane's backyard in Kankavli in Sindhudurg district, Thackeray said his party has fielded a candidate despite the constituency being allocated to the BJP as part of the seat-sharing pact.
Sena has pitted Satish Sawant, a former aide of Narayan Rane, against sitting Congress MLA and latter's son Nitesh, who is seeking another term on a BJP ticket.
Thackeray questionned the choice of Nitesh as the BJP nominee, without taking his name.
"...'Swabhiman' must have been relieved now (after the merger)," he said, in an apparent reference to Rane's now- merged outfit Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha (MSP).
Thackeray wondered candidature of Nitesh when "good candidates from the BJP, RSS" were around.
"Why should these people who are known for betrayal are given tickets by the BJP?" he questionned.
Rane, a former Shiv Sainik, had served as chief minister in the Sena-BJP government in 1999, but got expelled from the parent party in 2005 for revolting against Uddhav.
Later, he joined the Congress and became a minister. In 2017, Rane quit the Congress and formed the MSP and became ally of the BJP-led NDA.
"Rane had spoken ill about the chief minister and the BJP in the past. Even chief minister (Devendra Fadnavis) had spoken about goondaism in the Konkan region," Thackeray said in a veiled jibe at Rane.
The Sena chief said the BJP could have given a "good candidate" from Kankavli. "Had that been the case, I would have campaigned here and this would have been a huge alliance rally. There is no opposition to Sena in the Konkan region," he added.
Speaking at a rally in Kankavli on Tuesday, where Rane announced the merger of the MSP, the CM said the former is automatically a member of the BJP.
On Tuesday, Rane's another son and former MP Nilesh also joined the BJP.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)