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New Thackeray on election block: MNS leader Raj’s son Amit joins campaigning

This election will see a battle between the two cousins — Aditya and Amit Thackeray

mumbai Updated: Feb 06, 2017 19:37 IST
Naresh Kamath
Shiv Sena

Amit, a commerce graduate from Ruparel College, campaigned for the party during the 2014 assembly polls .(HT File Photo)

It’s now a battle of GenNext in the Thackeray versus Thackeray war in Maharashtra.

Amit Thackeray, son of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj, will campaign for the party in the ensuing civic polls, a party leader said on Tuesday.

The move is apparently aimed at countering the Shiv Sena’s decision to field Uddhav Thackeray’s son Aditya as a star campaigner for the two-phase polls to 15 zilla parishads, 165 panchayat samitis and 10 municipal corporations on February 16 and 21.

After breaking away from the Sena and forming the MNS in 2006, Raj Thackeray has regularly taken on Uddhav over many issues. Raj is the nephew of late Sena supremo Bal Thackeray.

Amit, 25, will aggressively undertake road-shows in four main cities—Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Thane, said MNS leader Shirish Sawant. “Amit will play an important role in the MNS campaign. After Rajsaheb (Raj Thackeray), he will be our star campaigner,” said Sawant

Amit, a commerce graduate from Ruparel College, had campaigned for the MNS in the 2014 assembly polls but it was in the shadow of his father.

Raj Thackeray has shied away from launching his son unlike his estranged cousin Uddhav who ensured son Aditya’s debut in a grand way in 2010.

According to political experts, Amit’s campaign will hardly help matters for the MNS which is battling to stay relevant in the state’s politics.

“People will look at Amit as a novelty but it will not translate into votes for the party,” said political commentator Prakash Bal. “Even Aditya has not made a big impact as apart from die-hard Shiv Sainiks, he hardly has any appeal among the electorate,” he added.

The MNS is facing a do-or-die battle in the polls, plagued by low morale as well as large scale defections among the leaders and workers. The partly is hardly seen as a contender in this election.

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