THE MNS has decided not to hold written examinations for aspirants wishing to contest the upcoming civic polls on a party ticket. MNS leaders said party chief Raj Thackeray had asked divisional heads to simply submit the names of interested candidates to him.
Ahead of the 2012 municipal polls, the party had conducted a written test ostensibly to test the general knowledge of aspirants. While 1,200 appeared, 223 were selected. “There will be no exam this time. The party chief is taking internal feedback from office-bearers about interested candidates. The feedback is given directly to him and he will take the final call,” said MNS general secretary Shalini Thackeray.
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She said this would help gauge the mood among party activists. “We feel we should not impose a candidate on them and the candidate should be from among them,” said Shalini.
In private, party leaders admit that the MNS is witnessing a dearth of candidates this time. “We had hundreds of candidates in 2011. That is not the case now. And many are wary of the exam,” said a leader interested in contesting from South Mumbai. The leader that delimitation and reservation had changed the scenario. “Now, we have to look for new candidates… And we fear many may not clear the exam, which will cause embarrassment to the party,” the leader said.