After making aspiring candidates for PMC poll give eligibility exam, MNS says marks will not be disclosed and wannabe corporators must now prove they have a following among party workers to get ticket.

After MNS chief Raj Thackeray declared that a written exam and a personal interview would be conducted to select party candidates for the upcoming civic poll in the city, many people hoping to enter politics for the first time felt the move would give them a fair shot at realising their dream. 

What these aspirants perhaps do not know is that even if they gain outstanding marks in the written exam as well as in the interview, it would be necessary for them to show they have a good enough following among party workers to get a ticket.

Before the exam: Aspiring candidates register themselves for the 
exam at the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena office in Narayan Peth last
month. File pic

With the exam over, the MNS says it will now be necessary for an aspiring candidate to have party workers supporting his or her candidature as it will help the party know the aspirant's political strength. Aspiring candidates feel they have no choice but to accept the orders of the senior party leaders. 

Talking to MiD DAY, MNS leader Ajay Shinde, who is coordinating the examination process, said, "The party had already declared that the exam will not be the sole criteria and other things like having followers, the aspirants' party work and public contacts are very important qualities as they are an added advantage for any prospective candidate." 

Shinde added that there are certain tricks of the trade in electoral politics which cannot be learnt just by giving exams. "The real aim behind taking this exam was to make the existing corporators knowledgeable so that they can perform well in the proceedings of the municipal corporation," Shinde said.    

According to party norms, the marks gained by aspiring candidates in the written exam and the interview will be kept confidential. "A candidate's marks in the written exam are being taken into consideration in the interview. But we are not going to disclose the marks to the candidates. The aspirants will not get to know on what basis they have been rejected," Shinde said. 

He claimed that aspiring candidates had been told about these norms when the party distributed the registration forms. Many aspiring candidates are disappointed with the turn of events and are saying they should at least be told their score in the exam. 

Ganesh Shinde, an aspiring candidate from Panel Number 26 (MIT area), said, "It's our right to know the result of whatever exam or interview we have given. Although my interview is still due, if I am rejected in my viva then they should tell me the reason for my rejection." 

Shinde added that it was natural that the decision of the MNS chief would be final, but party leaders should show the rejected candidates their mistakes and guide them accordingly. Supriya Kale, an aspiring MNS candidate from Panel Number 28 (Vanaj), agreed with Shinde. 

"Although my husband is an MNS worker, I am a fresher in politics. I have given my written exam and it was quite easy. But if I am rejected by the examiner when I give my interview, then they should show me how many marks I have gained in the written exam as well as in the interview," Kale said. Two rounds of interviews have already been held in the city by the MNS and two more rounds are to be held today and on Friday.