The Sena leader also expressed confidence of his party firmly holding onto the Marathi electorate in Maharashtra. (Agencies)
"Marathi votes will remain with Shiv Sena only. Nobody can dare take it away from us," he said.
"The Shiv Sena-BJP alliance will defeat Congress-NCP and would win as many as 40 seats out of the total 48 Lok Sabha in Maharashtra," Raut claimed.
Gadkari, who is said to enjoy a good rapport with Raj Thackeray, had met the latter on Monday at a suburban five-star hotel, triggering speculation that the saffron party is trying to win over the MNS chief into NDA for upcoming elections even as he said that there is no reason for Shiv Sena to
be annoyed by his meeting with Raj.
Gadkari had later told media persons that he ‘discussed the ways with the MNS chief to get rid of the Congress government.’
However, Republican Party of India-Athvale (RPI-A) led by Ramdas Athawale, also an important constituent of the 'Mahayuti' led by BJP and Shiv Sena, said that he would ‘welcome’ Raj into NDA-fold.
MNS' high-pitch debut in 2009 elections had caused a large scale division of Marathi votes ensuring the defeat of Shiv Sena candidates in Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.
The Sena leader also expressed confidence of his party firmly holding onto the Marathi electorate in Maharashtra.