From Saturday, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray will camp in Kalyan and Dombivli to campaign for the civic polls to be held on October 31.
The MNS is making a serious bid to win its first-ever municipal elections. Thackeray hopes that his party can manage to wrest the power from arch rival Shiv Sena as they won two assembly constituencies in Kalyan area in the elections held last year.
For a week, Thackeray’s would be available not at his Shivaji Park home, but at Regency Estate in Dombivli.
He will address four election rallies in the Kalyan and Dombivli and hold parleys with party workers to implement his plan for winning the civic polls.
The MNS has not been able to win a single municipal body so far and they see the Maharashtrian dominated Kalyan-Dombivli region as an ideal area to register their first win.
“We already have an edge over our rivals and the MNS chief's campaign will create a major impact on the electorate,” said MNS leader Manoj Chavan, adding that the entire campaign has been planned by Thackeray himself.
Apart from addressing rallies, Thackeray will visit MNS offices to boost morale of party cadre. He has deputed his entire leadership, including all 13 legislators for the campaign.
According to political observers, it is a serious attempt by Raj to gain power. “Raj wants to encash on his charisma and his major target would be break the Sena votes in his favour,” said Prakash Bal, veteran political analyst.
However, the Shiv Sena, which is the ruling party in the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC), has debunked the MNS saying that Raj’s presence will not affect them.
“The people know the true colours of Raj Thackeray, who is just a stooge of the Congress-NCP combine,” said Sena leader Ramdas Kadam. “We will win on the basis of the development carried out over the years.”
The KDMC is one of major civic bodies in the state with a budget of Rs 250 crore.