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Business News/ Politics / News/  Raj Thackeray says he ‘was first in country to back Narendra Modi as PM’, Congress responds
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Raj Thackeray says he ‘was first in country to back Narendra Modi as PM’, Congress responds

Raj Thackeray says he ‘was first to pitch Narendra Modi as PM’ as MNS backs BJP-Shiv Sena-NCP combine alliance

Mumbai, India - April 9, 2024: MNS chief Raj Thackeray public meeting at Shivaji park, dadar on the occasion of Gudi Padawa in Mumbai, India, on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. (Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)Premium
Mumbai, India - April 9, 2024: MNS chief Raj Thackeray public meeting at Shivaji park, dadar on the occasion of Gudi Padawa in Mumbai, India, on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. (Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has extended ‘unconditional support’ towards the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena-NCP alliance in Maharashtra ahead of Lok Sabha elections. Party chief Raj Thackeray said that he had been close to the BJP since it formed an alliance with the undivided Shiv Sena in the 1990s and recalled visiting Gujarat while Narendra Modi was Chief Minister. The MNS chief insisted that he had been the first in India to back Modi as Prime Minister — an assertion that has since prompted a sharp rejoinder from the Congress. 

“Shiv Sena had formed an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party around 1990. After that my closeness increased with BJP…I went to Gujarat and established relations with Narendra Modi. After coming back from there I was asked how Gujarat is. I said development is taking place in Gujarat, but Maharashtra is much ahead. I was the first person in the country who said that Narendra Modi should be the Prime Minister of the country," Thackeray recalled.

Much has been said about the possibility of Raj Thackeray's MNS joining the BJP-led Mahayuti alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The party is yet to field any candidate for the upcoming polls.

ALSO READ: Lok Sabha elections 2024: How tussle over Mumbai North West seat led to Sanjay Nirupam's expulsion from Congress

Congress leaders however insist that Thackeray's support will not affect the election prospects of the opposition coalition. Senior party leader Vijay Wadettiwar also recalled the MNS chief taking a firm stance against Prime Minister Modi in 2019.

"When Raj Thackeray visited Delhi, it was evident that he would go with the BJP. But we did not expect that a tiger would turn into a lamb so soon. Will a fighter like Raj Thackeray become a slave?" Wadettiwar asked while speaking to reporters.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 10 Apr 2024, 03:20 PM IST
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