Pushed to the corner, the Shiv Sena has planned to do a little public relations exercise.
For the first time since its inception in 1966, Sena Chief Bal Thackeray has appointed official spokespersons for the party.
After the meeting of party workers at Goregaon on Wednesday, Thackeray senior appointed four party spokespersons. They include former chief minister and party MP Manohar Joshi, editor of Saamna, Sena mouthpiece, Sanjay Raut, women’s activists and now a Sena legislator Neelam Gorhe and veteran party leader Subhash Desai.
The spokespersons are supposed to interact with the media over party’s plans and policies and also will be party’s public face.
This is deviation from traditional Sena way of functioning. Though party had authorized Desai to speak to the media in the past, it was mostly in the context of the elections, said party secretary Vinayak Raut.
In fact, the unwritten rule in Sena is that nobody except Thackeray senior would talk to the media on Sena’s policies or stand on any particular issue.
Now, with the Sena in the dock following two splits, the party is not taking any chances.
A senior leader of the party who enjoys good rapport with both Thackeray and his son Uddhav, who happens to be Executive President of the party, on condition of anonymity said that certain changes were expected as the party was being controlled mostly by the generation next leaders.
Joshi, Desai are among those who are known for their proximity to Thackeray senior, while Gorhe and Raut are close aides of Uddhav Thackeray, he pointed out further.