Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray is likely to unveil his plans for fielding candidates in key Lok Sabha constituencies on Sunday, which also marks the eighth foundation day of the party that came into being on March 9, 2006, after he parted ways with Shiv Sena.
MNS has planned a function in the city where Thackeray will address party workers and supporters.
MNS sources said, “There is absolutely no ambiguity about fielding the candidates for LS polls. The only suspense is how many and which constituencies.”
The core committee of the MNS led by MLA Bala Nandgaonkar had earlier submitted a list of 18 candidates for key constituencies across Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan, Nashik, Pune and Beed.
“Raj Thackeray is leading a political organisation. How can he stay out of electoral politics?” MNS sources said.
MNS’s political strategy is being closely monitored across the state political spectrum in the wake of controversy that erupted after Raj Thackeray’s meeting with former BJP president Nitin Gadkari last week. Gadkari’s move had not gone down well with BJP’s ally Shiv Sena, which had mocked him while opposing any understanding with the MNS.
In Mumbai, MNS has drawn up plans to field at least three candidates — in Mumbai South, Mumbai South Central and Mumbai North West. Interestingly, all these three seats, currently held by Congress, are also being contested by the Sena.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, MNS candidates polled more than one lakh votes in each of the 12 seats they fought. Although the party did not win a single Lok Sabha seat, it made a mark by registering 11 per cent of the total votes polled.