Hitting back at Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh, who recently snubbed him for extending an "unsolicited support" to Narendra Modi and "seeking votes" in his name without joining the Shiv-Sena-BJP-RPI alliance, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Monday taunted Singh for raising the objection, while Modi was silent on the issue.
In his first reaction to the BJP's public posture castigating the MNS for using the Modi card and reasserting its ties with the Shiv Sena, Thackeray, while addressing an election meeting in Pune, said, "I have declared my support to Modi for prime ministership and not to Rajnath...Modi is silent (on my support) then why are you talking about it?"
Thackeray's statement is seen in the backdrop of Saturday's election campaign speech of the BJP prime ministerial candidate in Pune during which he did not touch upon the controversial issue of the MNS support to him.
The MNS president also ridiculed Singh's statement that if he wanted to support Modi, his party (MNS) should either merge with BJP or join the Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI alliance in the state.
"Does he think that the MNS is a party from Uttar Pradesh?" he asked sarcastically.
Thackeray, who has gone on record to say that the would-be MPs of the MNS would pledge their support to Modi, said he had declared his backing to the Gujarat chief minister way back in 2011, impressed by his model of development even before BJP thought of making him prime ministerial candidate.
"I do not have to seek votes in Modi's name. My support to him for development of Maharashtra as I feel he would be able to understand and solve problems faced by us including the influx of outsiders into the state," he said, adding that the MPs from Maharashtra had failed to unite and remove injustice being done to Maharashtra.
Thackeray who was in Pune to campaign for the MNS Lok Sabha candidate from Pune, Deepak Paigude, who is pitted against Congress, BJP and AAP nominees, also criticised Congress-NCP alliance for practising "caste politics" to seek votes.