Joshi in talks with leaders of Regional parties

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Pune, June 5 (UNI) Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi today said he was in 'talks ' with leaders of various regional parties to garner support for senior BJP leader Mr L K Advani as the Prime ministerial candidate.

Mr Joshi said that he had already met some leaders of regional parties, who are in the UPA coalition but opposed to the Congress, without naming them.

''I have met around 8-9 leaders of the 43 regional parties, to seek support and now I am heading to the South and looking for meetings with Mr Karunanidhi, Ms Jayalalitha and even Mr Chandrababu Naidu in Andhra Pradesh,'' he told reporters here.

To a question on whether he had met Ms Mayawati, Mr Joshi said she was a leader of a national party and his focus was only regional parties.

Mr Joshi said the spirit of regional parties was the economic progress of their regions. In this light, he said the Shiv Sena had a clear agenda that sons of the soil should get preference in jobs and employment oppotunities. ''Other regional parties follow and practice the same agenda, the only thing is that they don't talk about it as the Shiv Sena does,'' he said.

To a question whether Maharashtra Navnirman Sena was also approached for support, Mr Joshi quipped that he was in talks with leaders of 'registered parties'. To another query about the attack at the residence of Loksatta Editor, Kumar Ketkar by Shiv sangram activists against the editorial, Mr Joshi said he personally believed in intellectual freedom but that also meant that Shivaji must not be insulted.

Mr Joshi said that as a Rajya Sabha MP, he had enough time on hands to pursue a doctorate at Mumbai University. His study was an indepth analysis of the Shiv Sena, its birth place, work, policies as a regional party.

Mr Joshi was in the city alongwith BJP leader L K Advani to attend the centenary celebrations of the educational institution,'Pune Vidyarthui Graha'.

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