Will Raj Thackeray’s violent campaigns help revive the MNS in Mumbai?
Will Raj Thackeray’s violent strategies to revive the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) work this time, as they did a decade ago?
For past few weeks, the MNS has been making its presence felt through violent agitations against hawkers. However, the MNS’ target base — the Marathi manoos — do not seem to be supportive of such acts. Analysts said the lack of constructive agenda means people aren’t drawn to the party. In 2007, Thackeray spewed hatred against North Indians, blaming them for snatching the opportunities of locals. He was even arrested. Back then, this paid rich electoral dividends as he was able to get 13 members elected to the Maharashtra Assembly and 28 to the BMC.
“That was different era, socio-economic conditions were different. Now, Thackeray needs to devise a new strategy to revive the MNS or he will find himself irrelevant,” said political commentator Surendre Jondhale. He said Thackeray was a new face promising change in 2007, which is why people gave him a chance. “The performance of his legislators and corporators was dismal. They hardly impacted the lives of Mumbaiites,” he added.
Expert B Venkatesh Kumar said politics must be constructive. “People are worried about development and jobs, not about sons of the soil,” he said.
Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam, whose office was ransacked on Friday, owing to his support of hawkers said, “Raj is living in a fool’s paradise if he thinks these acts will help him politically.”
The MNS has defended itself, saying electoral outcomes do not matter while taking up causes. “We are fighting for the cause of the Marathi Manoos. We are not worrying about the elections,’ said MNS secretary Sachin More. “As a political outfit, we have our programmes, but the welfare of the Maharashtrians is our party’s core agenda,” he added.
The NIA has arrested two accused in Jammu & Kashmir in the cross-LoC trade and terror funding case. Earlier, the NIA had conducted multiple raids across the Valley in the terror-funding case. NIA spokesman in a statement said that on Monday the NIA arrested two accused Tanveer Ahmad Wani of Achagoza, Rajpora, Pulwama and Peer Arshad Iqbal, alias Ashu of Khwaja Bagh, Baramulla.
With a day left for the start of the Amarnath Yatra, high-level security is in place across Jammu and Kashmir, especially in Kashmir valley, where foolproof security arrangements have been made for the peaceful conduct of the yatra, which is taking place after two years. Three-tier security will be in place for the entire yatra route, including the mountains in the south and central Kashmir.
Ahead of the annual Amarnath pilgrimage, the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday claimed to have solved recent blasts in Kotranka and Budhal areas of the Rajouri district with the arrest of two Lashkar operatives. The police have launched searches for Talib Shah. “A huge cache of explosive material, including five improvised explosive devices (IEDs), was recovered at the disclosure of the LeT operatives”, additional director general of police (ADGP), Mukesh Singh said.
Union minister of state for women and child development Dr Mahendra Munjapara on Tuesday said cash incentives given to pregnant women under the Pradhan Mantri Matritva Vandana Yojana will now be given in two instalments instead of three, and women will also be given a cash incentive of ₹6,000 on the birth of a second girl child.
Two suspected overground workers (OGWs) of militants were on Tuesday shot dead by the Army near the Line of Control (LoC) in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said. Police say weapons and narcotics were recovered from the slain persons. They are believed to have come to receive a cache of arms and narcotics and facilitate infiltration of militants, they said.