Last week, Senior Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar's had advised on including Raj Thackeray's party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) alliance. The idea, however, has been shot down by Congress, as they believed that the ideological differences with the party would render the alliance unfeasible.
Ajit Pawar had said that "We must bring together all those who find secular ideologies as acceptable if we really want to defeat the Shiv Sena-BJP combine.” He pointed out to MNS who had secured one lakh to one-and-half lakh votes in the past elections in some constituencies.
Maharashtra has the 2nd highest number of lawmakers to Lok Sabha after UP.
Both parties, NCP and MNS do not have anything to lose, as they are limited to the state of Maharashtra. However, Congress is concerned about the national picture, if it includes Mr. Thackeray's party.
It has been reported that Sharad Pawar is pushing for an understanding with the MNS.
Over the last year, Pawar has shared stage several times with Raj Thackeray. There had been several speculations regarding an alliance in October after their long conversation during a plane journey to Mumbai.
Back in the 2014 general elections, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance had won 41 seats followed by the Congress-NCP alliance with 6 seats while Raj Thackeray's party was unable to open its account.