Amid the political turmoil in the state arising out of a revolt by 39 Shiv Sena MLAs and eventually resulting in the collapse of the MVA government and the emergence of a new BJP-Shinde combine at the hustings, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is trying to rebuild the party.
There was a strong presence of Shiv Sena in the Konkan region, after Mumbai and Thane. However, with the major party leaders from the region — Ratnagiri MLA Uday Samant, Deepak Kesarkar, MLA from Sawantwadi in Sindhudurg, Bharath Sheth Gogawale, MLA from Mahad in Raigad and Yogesh Ramdas Kadam of Dapoli in Ratnagiri — in the rebel camp led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, the Sena’s hold on the region has weakened.
To benefit from the rebellion in the Shiv Sena, the MNS has launched the ‘Mahasampark Abhiyan’, to be championed by Amit Thackeray, the 29-year-old son of party chief Raj Thackeray. The president of Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena will be going on a Konkan tour from July 5 to 11 as part of the party’s outreach programme.
In the first phase of ‘Mahasampark’ campaign, the MNS scion will be visiting the Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Raigad districts in the Konkan region over a week.
The outreach programme is said to be a ploy to extract political benefit from the ongoing turmoil in the Shiv Sena camp and carve out a cadre from the region.
After the rebellion in the Shiv Sena, Amit’s cousin and the son of Shiv Sena president, AadityaThackeray, who also leads the Yuva Sena, the party’s youth wing, has been also holding rallies in Mumbai to keep the party cadre intact in the backdrop of the trouble within.
While he is in the process of planning the outreach programme in the state, Amit Thackeray has already announced the ‘Mahasampark’ rally. “During his visit, Amit will be holding a dialogue with the party’s office bearers as well as college students who want to work actively in the party,” an MNS leader said.