Raj takes poll plunge, says will contest Assembly elections

He will become the first person from the Thackeray clan to contest an election.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:June 1, 2014 2:47 am
MNS Chief Raj Thackeray addresses a rally at Sion in Mumbai on Saturday. Prashant Nadkar MNS Chief Raj Thackeray addresses a rally at Sion in Mumbai on Saturday. Prashant Nadkar

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Saturday announced that he would contest the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections and would lead the government if voted to power.

He will become the first person from the Thackeray clan to contest an election. His uncle Bal Thackeray and estranged cousin Uddhav Thackeray have never contested an election.

MNS sources claimed that Thackeray is weighing the options of contesting either from Mahim, which includes Shivaji Park area, where he resides, or Nashik.

“In the upcoming Assembly elections, Raj Thackeray will himself contest the elections. All of us together, if we are able to earn the confidence of the people and they give us the desired mandate, then Raj Thackeray will be at the helm of affairs,” the MNS chief said while addressing a public rally at the Somaiya ground in Sion.

This was Thackeray’s first public interaction after the abject performance of his party in the recently held Lok Sabha elections, where all the 10 party candidates lost their deposit.

During the rally, Thackeray was supposed to elucidate the party’s future course of action. Thackeray, who seemed to be losing the initiative after the poor performance of his party, seemed to have grabbed the bull by the horns by ending his 25-minute speech with the announcement of his intention to fight elections. Party sources claimed that the intention to contest elections was to infuse enthusiasm within the demoralised cadre.

During his speech, Thackeray also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Taking a swipe at the Shiv Sena, he claimed that it was only because of a single individual that the BJP as well as its allies got the mandate that they did. “All those who were elected in this election managed to do so only because of Narendra Modi’s name. I spoke to some BJP leaders and even they were surprised at how much votes they got,” Thackeray said.

He tried to underplay the success of the Shiv Sena-BJP in the state by claiming that it was the government that lost. “In electoral politics if we see the overall situation, it is not the opposition that wins, it is the government that loses,” Thackeray said.

He claimed that he was not interested in contesting the Lok Sabha elections, but was forced to pay the heed of his partymen. “I was thinking that we should not contest these elections. There were some from my party who were keen. Then the meeting with Nitin Gadkari happened and we decided to fight the elections,” Thackeray said.

Thackeray also severely castigated his party officials, claiming many of them had given up at the campaigning stage itself. He came down severely on party leaders from Nashik where MNS controls the municipal corporation and said they failed to reach out to the people. Interestingly, MNS strongmen and Nashik MLA Vasant Gite was absent from the dais.

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  1. D
    Dr Siddiqui
    May 31, 2014 at 9:41 pm
    Raj against Modi interesting as results are already known!More the merrier atmosphere.
  2. D
    May 31, 2014 at 11:45 pm
    He'll lose his deposit in this election also. He should know how he is rated by the public, as was shown in the Lok Sabha Polls. Nav nirman is a hoax which the people are aware of !
  3. P
    Jun 2, 2014 at 5:56 am
    I am not a supporter of Raj Thackeray or MNS. However he might still be a better CM than these corrupt Congressmen. In last 10 years over 1 lakh farmers in Maharashtra have committed suicide. And the reaction to that from Congress-NCP leaders is expressed in shocking statements like Deputy CM saying "What can I do about it? Should I in their farms to improve their crops?" Maharashtra's situation today is such that anybody will be better than Congress-NCP leaders.
  4. P
    Jun 2, 2014 at 5:53 am
    Raj Tackeray should merge his MNS with Shiv Sena. MNS has little hope of coming to power on their own. If MNS contests independently it will only split Shiv Sena's votes and help Congress-NCP retain power. If MNS merges with Shiv Sena, then SS-BJP-RPI will be a strong alliance that will surely beat Congress-NCP. I suspect that Congress pays Raj Thackeray lot of money to contest embly elections in order to split Shiv Sena's votes, which ensures that Shiv Sena is severely handicapped in its fight against Congress.
  5. S
    Jun 1, 2014 at 10:27 am
    All educated and sensible law abiding citizens, shudder at the thought of he becoming a CM. A man, who openly advocates destruction, beating of innocent youths,goondaism, is certainly not fit for such a post.People of Maharashtra, should once again show him his place in the civilized society through ballot paper.
  6. R
    May 31, 2014 at 9:48 pm
    To me it sounds like desperation.
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