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After Lok Sabha polls, MNS chief Raj Thackeray asks workers to get ready for Maharashtra elections

Thackeray, in his meeting, spoke about two issues – drought in the state and Assembly poll preparation.

mumbai Updated: May 14, 2019 00:43 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath
Hindustan Times
mumbai,raj thackeray,MNS
MNS chief Raj Thackeray met medical aspirants from the Maratha community in Thane on Monday.(HT photo)

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray who campaigned against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during the Lok Sabha polls, is now gearing up for the forthcoming Assembly elections. In the Lok Sabha elections, the MNS did not contest, but Thackeray adopted a new style of making video presentations to criticise the Centre. His rallies created a flutter and his speeches went viral, with the ruling BJP criticising him.

The informal arrangement between the MNS and the Opposition Congress-NCP was evident as Thackeray asked the MNS cadre to help the Congress-NCP win the elections. With the Lok Sabha elections over, Thackeray has now turned the attention to the upcoming Assembly elections. On Monday, he held a meeting of party workers, the first after the polls, in Thane.

“Irrespective of the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections, start preparing for the Assembly polls,” Thackeray told party workers. He gave a pep talk to his workers asking them to reach out to the electorate. “You need to shed your arrogance and win the hearts of people. Don’t do anything which will sully the name of the party.”

For Thackeray, this is one of the major battles, as the MNS is at its lowest, since its formation in 2006. From 13 legislators in 2009, the party is down to just one legislator in 2014. Even the lone MLA, Sharad Sonawane, has left the party and joined the Shiv Sena.

Thackeray, in his meeting, spoke about two issues – drought in the state and Assembly poll preparation. He said he won’t tour drought-affected areas. “What will I do visiting them, when I am not in a position to offer them any relief? It is not a tourist spot,” said Thackeray. Thackeray was also caustic in his criticism of both Modi and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. He, however, desisted from making any comment on whether the MNS will tie up with the Congress-NCP combine or fight the elections alone.

In the meeting, Thackeray announced the reshuffle in the organisation and named new chiefs for his party cells. He warned workers that he would not allow indiscipline and rebels will face action.

First Published: May 14, 2019 00:39 IST