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MNS May Support Congress In Bhiwandi By-Polls Against SP

PTI 06 Jan 2010, 19:29:19 IST

Known for its abhorrence of Abu Asim Azmi, Raj Thackeray-led MNS is likely to back Congress candidate in the by-election to the Bhiwandi assembly seat in Maharashtra against the Samajwadi Party leader's son. 

SP MLA Azmi had won both Mankhurd and Bhiwandi seats in the 2009 legislative assembly elections and vacated the latter to pave the way for his son Farhan's entry into electoral politics.

The MNS, always game for crossing sword with Azmi, particularly on the issue of Hindi and north Indians, would leave no stone unturned to ensure the defeat of Azmi's hotelier son Farhan, married to actress Ayesha Takia, in the January 20 by-poll, a party source said. 

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said the party was contemplating extension of support to Congress nominee Muzaffar Hussain. 

"It is true that we do not want SP candidate to win, but have not yet decided our strategy," MNS spokesperson Shirish Parkar told PTI. 

Asked if MNS would field its own candidate for the polls, Parkar said the party organisation was not strong in the area and that no decision had been taken as yet on the issue.

Besides SP and the Congress, Shiv Sena's Rupesh Mhatre is also trying his luck. In the October 2009 assembly polls, Sena's Yogesh Patil had lost to Azmi.