Time For Raj Thackeray To Rise

Now that Shiv Sena and BJP have parted ways, there is an opportunity for MNS. It can take whatever route it pleases to.

Remember 2009 Maharashtra assembly elections? The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena of Raj Thackeray had won 13 assembly seats out of 288 on its debut.

It had also damaged the Shiv Sena-BJP combine in over 40 seats.

In the current Lok Sabha elections, the MNS tied hands with BJP and did not contest any seat to give latter that advantage. Results were as expected. BJP won 23 seats in the elections. But there is absolutely no doubt about MNS and its capabilities. Had MNS contested Lok Sabha elections, it would have diverted BJP and Shiv Sena’s votes in its own pocket.

Now that Shiv Sena and BJP have parted ways, there is an opportunity for MNS. It can take whatever route it pleases to.

Firstpost reported: Eight years after the announcement, the MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Thursday unveiled the party’s ‘blueprint’ for the development of the state as part of its campaign for the assembly polls. “While other parties are thinking about themselves, I am thinking about Maharashtra,” he said but refusing to comment on the break-up of the Shiv Sena and BJP alliance.

In a significant move, Raj also demanded ‘autonomous status’ for Maharashtra, saying it would help the state’s development by enabling it to frame and execute region-centric policies. “We are not seeking an independent state, but an autonomous Maharashtra. This is because people sitting in Delhi do not know what our woes are,” he claimed.

Also, Economic Times reported, Raj has a considerable base in north Maharashtra especially in the industrial town of Nashik and also did well during the last municipal elections in Pune where he won even more seats than the BJP. The antiroad-toll agitation that Raj Thackeray took up in Maharashtra, helped him establish a base in many urban pockets such as Aurangabad and Kolhapur.

Most of the votes that come towards MNS are generally from Sena’s base as people see in him Balasaheb’s legacy. However, when the elections will commence, MNS will become the fifth player in the four cornered election.

This means MNS will either have to join hands with BJP or Shiv Sena.

As MNS has already been cosying up with BJP, it becomes a likely ally. But BJP, which split from Sena on the issue of seats, may not agree to provide MNS a platform for giving a spectacle. In that case, Raj should join hands with Uddhav.

The Sena has reasons to worry about politics without the BJP, at least in the short term, as the party is in power in 12 municipal corporations with support from the BJP, including in Mumbai and Thane.

While there is a possibility that Sena and BJP can form a post poll alliance if needed. In fact, the BJP has kept its doors opened. The BJP has also announced that the party would not criticize Shiv Sena during the campaign and remain friends.

Well, going back on words is not an option in front of Uddhav. And it was this fact which kept him from remaining with BJP.

So, will Uddhav agree to join hands with Raj?

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