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Eyeing power, Raj Thackeray projects himself as the ‘most eligible political suitor’!

Eyeing power, Raj Thackeray projects himself as the 'most eligible political suitor'!

By Quaid Najmi

Mumbai, Aug 23 (SocialNews.XYZ) Foraying into the public eye after recuperating for nearly three months from a hip surgery, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) President Raj Thackeray is once again ready to soar the political skies, starting with the upcoming civic elections in the state.


With his trademark 'perpetually irked countenance', Raj Thackeray cracked the whip on his party leaders and workers, virtually snapping at them to be seen among the people, grab eyeballs and clamber onto the centre-stage of state politics -- where the 16-year-old MNS is relegated to the sidelines, though sporadically making it to the headlines too.

Simultaneously, he made efforts to stake a claim on the legacy of his legendary uncle the late Balasaheb Thackeray, who founded the Shiv Sena, currently led by his estranged cousin and ex-Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Without taking names, he took potshots at his cousin, the current government of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, the BJP's brand of Hindutva, and presented 'complete' progress report on several past agitations that kept the MNS cadres active.

Frowning at the recent political upheavals like the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) regime in June, Raj Thackeray said: "This is not politics... it's a temporary financial adjustment, with the voters left totally confused as to who stands with whom now."

On previous comparisons of his snapping ties with Shiv Sena (2005), Raj Thackeray said that his exit should not be compared to that of Chhagan Bhujbal or Narayan Rane or Eknath Shinde, who walked over to join other parties.

"I left Shiv Sena on a positive note, after informing Balasaheb Thackeray. He had called and hugged me and said, 'Ok, now you go'. I did not come out and scream 'treason or back-stabbing'. Then, I built up another party (MNS) on your confidence," Raj Thackeray said, urging that now MNS has to move ahead and make its political mark in the state.

Discussing the issue of 'political treachery', the MNS chief said thsat in the past, there was an open understanding between Balasaheb Thackeray and the BJP that whichever party (Shiv Sena or BJP) won more seats would get the CM's post.

Sneering at Uddhav Thackeray's assertions of the BJP not honouring its promise on sharing the CM's post after the 2019 Assembly polls, Raj Thackeray wondered "how the Shiv Sena asked for CM's post when BJP got more MLAs and what kind of understanding was reached behind four walls?"

"I am not bothered about names or symbols... I have the teachings of Balasaheb and the legacy of his thoughts which I will spread," he said on Shiv Sena's current battles vis-a-vis the rebel Shinde Group.

Referring to Hinduism, he proclaimed that "Hinduism is a way of life... It continues even today in the country, following our rituals, celebrating festivals as they were for thousands of years and women even today are sporting bindis-saris".

Elaborating further, Raj Thackeray said: "The country was invaded many times in the past by the likes of Mahmud Ghazni, the Mughals and the British, but we retained our Hinduism intact... If it was a mere religion, it would have been wiped out long ago."

Performing a balancing act, Raj Thackeray said he supported former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma for 'speaking out her mind', and he also lavished praise on Iqbal's iconic patriotic song "Saare Jahanase Achha, Hindustan Hamara" (1904), saying the Muslim poet could address the country as 'Hindustan' but we insist on referring to her as 'Bharat' or 'India'.

Responding to the often-repeated allegations that the MNS takes up agitations and then prematurely aborts them, Raj Thackeray mentioned two recent ones - the crusade against mosque loudspeakers and the accompanying Hanuman Chalisa call, preceded by the anti-toll campaign.

"Both were a success... Today, 95 per cent of loudspeakers atop mosques are silent or on low decibels. Even the Muslim community has appreciated this," Raj Thackeray claimed.

Similarly, he claimed that the (2014) campaign to stop toll-plazas in the state was an achievement and 65 were shut down, but "nobody is daring to ask the government - whichever party may be in power - about the remaining toll collection posts, what is done with all the cash collected there daily and where it goes".

Raj Thackeray then asked his partymen to "go out and be seen among the public, let there be hoardings at every place, meet people and convince them to join MNS... The masses are seeing us and we must approach them".

He also exhorted the ordinary folks to become more "involved in politics which affects each and every aspect" of life like water supply, electricity, food, taxes, etc.

Contrary to expectations, in his first meeting in nearly three months, Raj Thackeray carefully refrained from revealing his cards on a possible alliance with the BJP or Shinde Group, or if he will plough the political till all alone.

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at:

Source: IANS

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Eyeing power, Raj Thackeray projects himself as the 'most eligible political suitor'!

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