The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena on Sunday decided not to contest the 2019 General Elections. The political party had won one seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Party leader Shirish Sawant made the announcement in a press release, adding: “We will talk more on March 19,” The Hindu reported. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had sought an alliance with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party, but this was opposed by the Congress.
The Nationalist Congress Party announced its first list of candidates for the polls last week. This list included candidates for the Mumbai North East and Kalyan seats, two constituencies that the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena wanted to contest from, according to DNA. Thackeray had met Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar as well as senior leader Ajit Pawar over the last two months.
However, Thackeray will hold a rally on March 19, where he is likely to indicate his support for the Nationalist Congress Party, Mumbai Mirror reported. An unidentified Maharashtra Navnirman Sena functionary told the daily that a section of Congress leaders was willing to make the party part of the alliance.
“They were asking us to fight at least some seats in Mumbai and against Shiv Sena candidates so that they could benefit just like in 2009,” he said. “But this time Raj saheb decided that we will not just be spoilers. Raj saheb will spell out the road map for the future on Tuesday.”
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief has been attacking the Narendra Modi-led central government over the past few months. On March 10, Thackeray claimed in view of the Lok Sabha elections in April and May, there could be another “Pulwama-like attack”. Thackeray criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for suggesting that the result of the dogfight between Indian and Pakistani air forces could have been different if the Indian side was equipped with Rafale jets.
In February, Thackeray claimed that the “truth” of the Pulwama attack will emerge if National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is investigated.