Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Thursday addressed a rally which was organised to mark the birth anniversary of Balasaheb Thackeray. During his address, the MNS chief took a jibe at his cousin and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray for changing 'colours to form the government.'
While addressing the crowd, the MNS chief said, ''I don't change my colors for the sake of government formation."
MNS chief Raj Thackeray's address at Thursday's rally in Mumbai met with a thunderous response as he greeted the crowd with "My dear Hindu brothers and sisters," from his previous address' which usually began with--"My Marathi brothers and sisters", explicitly throwing a light on the shift in the party's ideologue. On Thursday morning, MNS launched Amit Thackeray, Raj's son, along with a new 'saffron flag'.
In a bid to replace its ally-turned-foe Shiv Sena, BJP is eyeing to rope in Raj Thackeray to rebrand the Sena's Hindutva flavor with Raj Thackeray's fiery brand. While Raj met former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, fuelling rumors of an alliance, Thackeray has also launched posters painted in saffron with lines that read 'Thought about the ideology of Maharashtra, resolve to create a Hindavi Swaraj’. Shifting gears from opposing the BJP till the Lok Sabha elections, to harnessing Maratha pride and Hindutva, Raj Thackeray is presumably treading the same path his uncle Balasaheb trod-eyeing to truly live his legacy.
Last week,on January 16, BJP's Maharashtra chief Chandrakant Patil suggested that for the saffron party and MNS to ally, the latter will have to clarify its stand over north Indians, especially those from Bihar. "I don't think MNS is now ready to dilute its stand against north Indians. Therefore, we don't think there is a possibility of BJP and MNS coming together." However, MNS spokesperson Sandeep Deshpande in retaliation noted that if the BJP and NCP can ally, then anything can happen in Maharashtra. The MNS leader was referring to the BJP government in alliance with NCP's Ajit Pawar that last for only 80 hours.