Raj Thackeray speaks of state autonomy, says MNS won't contest LS polls

MNS won't contest LS poll: Raj Thackeray
Mumbai, Oct 13: Justifying his party's demand for autonomy for states, as spelled out in its 'blue-print' for Maharashtra's development, Raj Thackeray on Monday said MNS would not be contesting the Lok Sabha elections henceforth.

"National parties should focus on Lok Sabha elections and leave state elections to regional outfits. I (his party) will not contest Lok Sabha elections henceforth," Raj said during an interaction with journalists here.

"When I say autonomous status, I am not talking about independence. States' issues can be dealt with by the state governments while inter-state matters should be left to the Centre," he said.He also said that he would soon write to all the Chief Ministers about his demand of autonomy for the states.

Raj said if MNS got a majority in Assembly polls, he would "lead from the front"

To a question on why he went back on his decision to contest the Assembly election, Raj said if MNS got a majority, he would "lead from the front".

Refusing to discuss possible post-poll realignments in Maharashtra, Raj said he was, for now, concentrating on his party's performance in the October 15 Assembly elections. "These elections are interesting as all the parties are fighting independently. Hence the results are unpredictable. The pre-poll surveys are either paid ones, or figment of some people's imagination," he said.

When asked about the breaking of Shiv Sena-BJP and Congress-NCP alliances, Raj said it was high time Maharashtra left the coalition politics behind. "Regional parties should be have absolute majority," he said.


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