Raj turns 50, can he resurrect MNS?
MUMBAI:AS Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray turns 50 today, the next year -- 2019, which will witness both the Lok Sabha and assembly elections, will prove crucial to both him as well as the future of his party.
The moot question is whether Raj will be able to resurrect his political career as well as revive his party, which is now reduced to a minor force and whose workers remain demoralised. The 2014 Lok Sabha and assembly along with the 2017 civic polls proved to be a massive downslide for the MNS. In the backdrop of the discontent among the citizens over the exorbitant increase in petrol prices, MNS workers on the occasion of Raj’s birthday gave ‘discount’ on petrol in the range of ₹4-₹9 in 36 constituencies across the city. This ‘discount’ for twowheelers resulted in a massive rush at these petrol pumps. The MNS bore the difference in cost.
However, political analysts doubt that reviving the MNS will be easy for its chief. “He was not able to build a strong organisational network unlike his mentor and uncle Bal Thackeray (founder of Shiv Sena). Everything in the MNS revolves around Raj and he has not been able to create a second line of leadership,”saidpoliticalcommentator Prakash Bal.
In recent months, Raj has once again become active and has become a bitter critic of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and especially of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is also now touring Maharashtra in phases.
“In the current scenario, all political parties have failed the people and the MNS remains a very attractive alternative for them,” said MNS leader Shalini Thackeray.
Wellwishers of MNS chief Raj Thackeray greet him at his residence on Thursday.