On March 19, 2006, when he first took stage as the chief of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), Raj Thackeray had announced that he would present to the state a ‘blueprint’ for its development. Eight years, many elections and a rollercoaster political career later, Raj presented his plans on Thursday, less than a month before the Assembly polls.
The party is seen to be at its lowest point since its inception, with many writing it off, especially after its disastrous Lok Sabha performance. Raj has a lot riding on this blueprint and what he can do to reinvent himself and the party.
Raj has attempted to remodel himself as a development-oriented politician. This transformation had shades of inspiration from myriad sources — Narendra Modi style emphasis on developmental issue and state sovereignty to using a catch line, Yes, it’s possible, strikingly similar to Barack Obama’s 2009 campaign.
On Thursday, the MNS chief spoke only about development. From demanding greater autonomy for Maharashtra, to arguing for sustainable development, to pushing for greater aesthetic sense and urban design in our city’s planning and pushing for public over private transport, he attempted to remodel himself as a man of development.
“Even if the alliance breaks or remains, I won’t talk about any politics here. Today is going to be all about development,” Raj said. He stuck to his guns on the issue of migration. “Only Marathi boys must get jobs that are created here,” he said. The event had audio-visual presentations on various issues and showcased the ideas that the blueprint proposes.