MUMBAI: Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil on Friday met MNS president Raj Thackeray, giving rise to speculation about a possible tie-up as elections to the Mumbai civic body are due next year.
Speaking to reporters after meeting Thackeray at the latter's residence here, Patil said the alliance was not on the cards at the moment.
"Raj told me that he does not hold any grudge against the non-Marathi people living in Mumbai. We still have some political differences and there is no proposal to join hands ahead of the polls at this moment," the BJP leader said.
To a question, Patil said, "I have told Raj Thackeray that the people of this state want you to be their leader, but you ought to change their perception of you. MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar said he can not disclose what transpired during the meeting, but "we will be happy if the two parties joined hands."
The Shiv Sena, headed by Raj's estranged cousin and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, has been controlling the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for over three decades.
The MNS had won seven seats in the last BMC polls but six of its corporators later joined the Shiv Sena. The Sena won 97 seats while the BJP won 82 and Congress 31.
Speaking to the media in Pune recently, Raj Thackeray, who took a strident anti-North Indian line after leaving the Shiv Sena over 15 years ago, had said he was not going to change his political stand for electoral benefits. "We (his party and the BJP) could agree on a non-aggression pact," he had said.
(With agency inputs)