MNS leaders had slammed Mr Thackeray over the party’s deteriorating condition since the 2014 general elections.
Mumbai: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray seems to have woken up to reality. After facing flak from leaders of his own party, Mr Thackeray has decided to pay more attention to them now. The MNS leader will start meeting senior party colleagues from the urban belt soon. As per sources, the MNS will focus on 10 Lok Sabha constituencies — six in Mumbai, two in Thane, one in Pune and one in Nashik.
MNS leaders had slammed Mr Thackeray over the party’s deteriorating condition since the 2014 general elections. They asked him to be seen in public and raise issues of public concern in the media. The leaders also suggested that he hold region-wise meetings to re-energise the party.
Two MNS leaders also breached party discipline on April 21 when former corporator Sandip Deshpande and cinema wing chief Ameya Khopkar demanded that the organisation be restructured via social networking site Facebook. All this has led to brainstorming within the party. Keeping these sentiments in mind, Mr Thackeray has decided to focus on urban voters.
In 2009, the MNS had done extremely well in the urban belt, winning 12 Assembly seats while riding on anti-North Indian sentiments. Mr Thackeray has indicated that he will keep raising ‘Marathi manoos’ issues. This exercise indicates his willingness to play the Marathi card again to survive in politics.
Trying days for Raj Thackeray’s party
The MNS had won almost one to two lakh votes in these 10 Lok Sabha constituencies in the 2009 general elections, but it ended with only a few thousand votes in these seats in 2014. In the 2014 assembly elections, MNS all 13 seats that it had won in the 2009 polls, gaining only one by fluke. In 2011-12, the MNS had won 30 councils in Kalyan-Dombivali, 29 council seats in Mumbai, 28 in Pune and 40 in Nashik, where it’s worker bagged the mayoral post. But in recent elections in 2016-17, it could win only 9 seats in Kalyan – Dombivali, 7 in Mumbai, 3 in Nasik and Pune 6.