Mumbai: In a shrewd political move aimed at queering the pitch for its arch rival Shiv Sena, MNS today declared its support for Narendra Modi in his prime ministerial bid while fielding its candidates for Lok Sabha polls mainly from those constituencies which are contested by Sena, virtually sparing BJP.
Addressing his party workers on the eighth foundation day of MNS here, party chief Raj Thackeray said Modi should become the Prime Minister.
"We will contest the Lok Sabha elections. I will show my party's strength during the elections. We will support Narendra Modi for the PM's post. Modi should become the Prime Minister of the country," Raj said at the function held at Shanmukhananda Hall.
The first list of seven candidates consists of filmmaker Mahesh Manjarekar who will make his electoral debut from Mumbai North West seat, currently represented by Congress MP Gurudas Kamat. Shiv Sena has announced nomination of party veteran Gajanan Kirtikar from this seat whereas AAP has fielded Mayank Gandhi.
Raj's declaration to contest Lok Sabha polls came days after former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari appealed to him in a private conclave here to not field candidates in a bid to avoid consolidation of votes in favour of Congress.
Gadkari's overture had ruffled feathers of Shiv Sena, prompting party president Uddhav Thackeray to say that forging alliance with new parties is a closed chapter.
Raj's close confidant and party MLA Bala Nandgaonkar will take on Arvind Sawant of Shiv Sena and Milind Deora of Congress in Mumbai South, where AAP's Meera Sanyal is also in the fray.
MNS' Aditya Shirodkar will contest from Sena stronghold of Mumbai South Central against Rahul Shewale who replaced Sena veteran Manohar Joshi to bag the ticket this time.
BJP has announced the candidature of Kirit Somaya from Mumbai North East seat, where AAP has fielded Medha Patkar.
The party may field either Mohit Kambhoj or city unit president Ashish Shelar in Mumbai North seat against sitting Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam.
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Updated Date: Mar 10, 2014 10:07:42 IST