Mumbai: Farmer-leader Raju Shetti, who lost the Hatkanangale seat in the Lok Sabha elections, called on Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray Tuesday; his sudden visit sending tongues wagging in political circles.
Mr Shetti, who heads the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS), met Mr Thackeray at his residence Krushnakunj in Dadar.
Although it isn't known what transpired during the meeting, the MNS later posted a picture of the visit on its twitter handle. Speculation is rife that the SSS leader was making ground for an alliance between the MNS and the Congress-NCP combine for the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha polls.
“We shared our views. He had addressed a rally to benefit me during the Lok Sabha polls. Hence, I met him after coming here,” said Mr Shetti.
Mr Thackeray held a rally at Hatkanangale during the Lok Sabha polls in favour of Mr Shetti. However, it could not benefit the SSS leader much, as he lost by over one lakh votes to Shiv Sena’s Dhairyasheel Mane.
His defeat has sent shock waves through the agricultural community as he has always come across as a crusader for farmers' issues.
Although the MNS did not contest the Lok Sabha elections, it is expected that the party will contest the Vidhan Sabha polls. However, it is still not clear whether MNS will contest the Assembly polls independently or in alliance with the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combine.
Mr Thackeray had held close to a dozen rallies across the state — including the Gudi Padwa rally in Mumbai — only to defeat the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre and in the state.
The MNS did not field any candidate in a bid to ensure that its voters supported the Congress-NCP candidates. However, the election results prove otherwise.