Ending speculations of a possible alliance with other saffron parties — Shiv Sena and BJP, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray gave a clarion call to his cadres ‘ekla cholo re’ (walk alone) on Wednesday.
He declared that his party would go it alone in the forthcoming civic polls to be held early next year.
Drawing inspiration from a song penned by Rabindranath Tagore, which talks of walking alone towards the goal despite abandonment or lack of support from others, Raj said, “I do not need to ally with any other party. I will fight the upcoming elections alone.”
Raj, however, warned his cadres against squabbling for party tickets. The forthcoming civic elections will prove to be litmus test for the MNS as its bete-noire Sena has been ruling the municipal bodies of Mumbai, Thane and Nashik for decades.
Speaking on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the foundation of his party, Raj described the recent Bandra fire as a far-fetched conspiracy to provide houses for migrants.
“These people create slums filled with migrants, set them on fire and then construct new permanent houses for them,” he said.
He also questioned what made Rubina, who starred in the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, to stay in the slum, when the state has already provided her with a flat. Taking a swipe at his cousin Uddhav without naming him, he said slums continue to increase vertically even though his residence (Matoshree) is in close vicinity.
Opposing the Jaitapur nuclear plant, he said, “The locals have no idea of the project while the state government is busy grabbing their lands.”
He also asked state revenue minister Narayan Rane to keep quiet and avoid inflating tensions. “What is the need to have so many power projects in Konkan? Are they going to benefit the local population?” he asked.