Mel­lowed Raj Thack­eray Wants to Talk to Cadre

MNS leader makes food ar­range­ments for those at­tend­ing his rally to­day

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - KR­ISHNA KU­MAR

Call it the Naren­dra Modi ef­fect. Raj Thack­eray, whose hard­line Ma­ha­rash­tra Navnir­man Sena (MNS) faced a to­tal rout in the Lok Sabha elec­tions with all its can­di­dates los­ing their de­posits, has gone for a change in the way he in­ter­acts with the party cadres. Thack­eray – known for is­su­ing dik­tats and or­ders to his par­ty­men – is hold­ing a rally in Mum­bai’s Sion area on Satur­day, his first pub­lic pro­gramme af­ter the elec­tion de­ba­cle. The MNS has put up hoard­ings through­out Mum­bai and its out­skirts with a mes­sage from him: “Come, I have to speak to you”. The mel­lowed man­ner in which Thack­eray is invit­ing people to his rally is a far cry from the devil-may-care at­ti­tude he nor­mally por­trays. The MNS, which un­til now never em­ployed ve­hi­cles to ferry its cadres to lis­ten to his speech, has this time even made eat­ing and stay­ing ar­range­ments for those who are at­tend­ing the rally.

The move comes af­ter Thack­eray’s ral­lies in the run up to the elec­tions saw a luke­warm re­sponse from people. Some of his ral­lies in Mum­bai, which is his party’s base, did not even get more than 5,000 people.

Yu­vraj Mo­hite, a jour­nal­ist and po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst, be­lieves Thack­eray is try­ing to “rein­vent” him­self. “He is try­ing to rein­vent, be­cause the people have re­alised that there is no di­rec­tion or agenda that he is able to set. He wants to be known as (un­cle and Shiv Sena founder) Bal Thack­eray, how­ever he should know that while people went to hear Bal Thack­eray’s speeches, the lat­ter also used to work among the people and be with his cadres.”

Raj Thack­eray has to first con­nect with the people, be­cause he has not been meet­ing them, Mo­hite said. “Sec­ondly, you have to have a vi­sion for de­vel­op­ment. In 2009, his party got more votes from people be­cause it was seen as an al­ter­na­tive; now it looks like a poor copy of the Shiv Sena.”

Those close to Thack­eray said the party would bounce back from its dis­mal per­for­mance and that the as­sem­bly elec­tions would show a much favourable re­sult for the party.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.