After conducting an eligibility examination for the upcoming civic elections for 3,500 party ticket aspirants in the entire state and 925 in the city, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has gone two steps further. Now such exams shall be mandatory for those wanting to contest elections to become MLAs and MPs.
The research and other basic work related to the holding of the examination will be the responsibility of the city-based party research wing, Maharashtra Samajik Navnirman Academy (MSNA).
Ticket test: MNS civic poll aspirants appear for the exam held a couple
of days ago
The examination decision assumes significance as it is an indirect indication of the MNS having made up its mind to enter national level politics by contesting the next Lok Sabha election, which is scheduled to take place in two years.
"Now the new task of undertaking basic research work for MLA and MP examinations shall be started soon," said Anil Shidore, general secretary of the city MNS unit and head of MSNA. According to Shidore, who played the role of examination inspector in the civic poll test, Thackeray made the announcement about the MLA and MP exams in a party meeting in Mumbai yesterday.
No one exempt
Shidore said such examinations would be compulsory for all aspirants without exception and referred to Thackeray's statement that even though he was the party chief he would also undergo an examination if he wanted to contest the assembly or general elections.
"Raj Thackeray was very happy that everything was done as per schedule and with the required seriousness in Pune, Mumbai and other cities like Nashik, Thane, Ulhasnagar, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Akola, Amrawati, Nagpur, Solapur, Kolhapur and Aurangabad," said Shidore. "The 100 marks papers that have been set are different for the different cities.
The academy was busy the past six months preparing the study material for all these."
While Thackeray avoided visiting examination centres in Mumbai, his wife Sharmila, son Amit and daughter Urvashi visited some centres there. Sharmila, who was in the city yesterday for a function, interacted with those who had appeared for the examination in Swargate.
Sitting corporators also appear for test
IN the city, even sitting corporators had to appear for the exam. Corporators Ravindra Dhangekar, Babu Wagaskar, Kishor Shinde, Vasant More, Rajabhau Gorde and Rajendra Barate wrote the test like other aspirants for the PMC poll. City MNS chief Prakash Dhore also took the test. "I believe in Raj's intention and studied for the exam," he said.