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Political Focus Back On Raj Thackeray, Wooed By BJP Leaders

Focus in Maharashtra politics is back on Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Raj Thackeray, who is wooed by one top BJP leader after another. However, the issue of any alliance with Raj is still kept open by the BJP, apparently as a precaution. Maharashtra BJP’s newly-appointed president Chandrashekhar Bawankule called on Raj at the latter’s Shivaji Park residence on August 30. Bawankule said it was a goodwill visit. “I regard Raj as an elder brother and am impressed by his solid support of Hindutva,” he added. Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had received Raj at his official residence ‘Sagar’ on August 29 morning. In the evening, BJP’s all-India general secretary Vinod Tawde was closeted with Raj. Both are old friends. As Tawde is now burdened with various responsibilities, the visit has assumed importance. Union home minister Amit Shah is slated to visit Mumbai next week. He will bow before Lalbaug cha Raja, as has been his practice for many years. The visits were interrupted for two years due to the Covid outbreak. Shah will also perform Ganesh pooja at the residence of Fadnavis and meet chief minister Eknath Shinde.  BJP president JP Nadda will be visiting Mumbai in September. Bawankule said any decision about taking Raj along for fighting various civic elections in the state will be taken in Delhi by the party leadership. ‘Mine is just a friendly visit,’ he quipped.