MNS leader targets BJP over invite to Raj Thackeray for swearing-in ceremony

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Mumbai, Jun 11 (PTI) Amid speculation in Maharashtra political circles on whether MNS president Raj Thackeray had received an invitation to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the Modi government, a senior leader of his party has sought to put the onus on the BJP.

“The generation which knew how to build and maintain friendships no longer exists in the BJP,” MNS leader Prakash Mahajan said.

“In that party, the present practice is to come to your doorstep when you’re needed and to close the door on the face when your utility ends. They have seen the ill-effects of this in the recent Lok Sabha election,” said Prakash, brother of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan.

MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar said only Raj Thackeray will be able to shed light on whether he received an invitation for the ceremony.

Maharashtra's BJP minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said, “Normally officers in the protocol department prepare the invitation list and in this process, sometimes names of friends get inadvertently missed.” “There can’t be any other reason for this (not giving the invitation). The party (BJP) should take a note of this,” said Mungantiwar, who lost the recent Lok Sabha election from Chandrapur.

After extending unconditional support to the Bharatiya Janata Party, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray had shared the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an election rally at Shivaji Park in Mumbai last month.

It was the same venue where he had launched a direct attack on Modi five years ago. In last month’s rally, Thackeray lauded the Modi-led government's achievements, including the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya and scrapping of Article 370. PTI VT VT