The Congress party has expressed strong reservations over the inclusion of Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in the ‘grand alliance’ of opposition parties that will contest the general elections next year with a lone agenda of checkmating the BJP.
According to a report the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) of Sharad Pawar had proposed the inclusion of the MNS in the grand alliance in the run-up to both Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Assembly polls, but the Congress has rejected the proposal.
The NCP spokesperson, Nawab Malik, said talks regarding the MNS’ role in the grand alliance are still at the preliminary stage and the Congress has expressed ‘strong reservation’ on this. Mr. Malik said that the NCP is open to the idea of including every single party that is against the BJP.
'We feel all parties against the Narendra Modi-led BJP government should be included in the grand alliance. The NCP’s objective is to put up a stronger anti-BJP alliance. In such a situation, we believe every single vote matters.'
The NCP had put forward the proposal to include MNS in the grand alliance during a meeting held last week. Another NCP leader said that the idea was that its chief Raj Thackeray is very vocal against the Prime Minister and the BJP. 'He has the ability to make his points in public very strongly.'
Asked why it is opposed to the inclusion of MNS, Congress party argued that an alliance with Mr. Raj Thackeray’s party would hurt its prospects in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi and Rajasthan because of its anti-migrant policies. The Mumbai Congress president, Mr. Sanjay Nirupam, said that Mr. Raj Thackeray’s party doesn’t believe in the Constitution and its politics is based on hatred.
'The politics the MNS does is against Congress ideologies and politics. They don’t believe in the Constitution. The MNS politics is based on caste and community, where people are beaten up,' Mr. Nirupam said.
In the previous Lok Sabha polls in 2014, the MNS had failed to open its account.