Alarmed bythe damage made by Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in last Lok Sabha polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party has chalked out a campaign strategy which would focus on making people realise that voting MNS is akin to voting for Congress-NCP.
"We would appeal to the people that voting for MNS is like voting for Congress-NCP alliance again and if they need change, they should vote Sena-BJP and not MNS," BJP president Nitin Gadkari said.
Of the 12 seats, the MNS contested in the Lok Sabha elections, the party dented the prospects of the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance candidates in at least nine seats.
The BJP-Sena combine could not win even a single seat in Mumbai, although Mumbai North and Mumbai North-East seats were considered winning seats for the saffron alliance.
The BJP had admitted that the MNS played "spoilsport" for the Sena-BJP alliance and blamed Congress-NCP for that.
"It was a strategic plan of Congress and NCP to back MNS candidates and divide votes of the saffron alliance," Gadkari said.
The BJP leader also criticised the MNS's politics on the basis of Marathi language. "The BJP does not believe in language politics and the issue of Marathi versus Bihari," he said.
Asked about ally Sena's strong 'pro-Marathi' stance, Gadkari said "as far as Marathi pride is concerned, we also do not share a different view but we oppose politics on basis of caste and language. "If we come to power, we would start a special department to encourage Marathi," he said.