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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, January 11, 2013
With an eye on the 2014 elections, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray will start his statewide tour from February 5-March 9.

According to MNS leaders, the tour is aimed at galvanising the cadres as well as countering his cousin and Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, who has planned a similar campaign.

“The tour will give us an opportunity to expand the party, especially after the demise of Bal Thackeray. Raj would aggressively campaign as the worthy successor of Bal Thackeray and try to attract Sena cadres,” said a party leader.

In the 2009 elections, the MNS had played a spoiler for the Sena-BJP alliance and ensured that the Congress-NCP alliance gained power both at the Centre and in the state.

In the 2012 civic elections, though the MNS scored well, it could not prevent the saffron alliance from gaining power in Mumbai and Thane.