Raj Thackeray rules out alliance with Shiv Sena

Raj Thackeray

MNS president Raj Thackeray ruled out Tuesday the possibility of allying with Shiv Sena for the 2014 Assembly and Parliament elections.

At a public rally in Kolhapur, he declared to thunderous applause: "Whatever I do I will do on my own strength."

In a potentially gamechanging move in January, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had hinted at an alliance with his estranged cousin. "If someone is planning to come and join Sena wholeheartedly I will welcome him," he had said in an interview to party mouthpiece Saamana.

Uddhav had, however, been guarded on the chances of a possible alliance, saying it needed two hands to clap. An aggressive Raj on Tuesday not only rejected the alliance offer, but also appeared to ridicule Uddhav's interview.

"These newspaper interviews have now started where one hand is being put forward and another is being taken back. You do not discuss such issues through newspapers," he said.

Raj also attacked the state government announcement of memorials to leaders as a ploy to divert public attention from important issues. He opposed the proposed mid-sea memorial for Shivaji, saying the money would be better spent on maintaining forts built by the king.

"The cost of building the mid-sea memorial will be Rs 5,000-6,000 crore. Instead, they should spend the money on improving the condition of the forts made by Maharaj," Raj said.

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