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Now, MNS eyes the Urdu manoos

Political parties in the state know the importance of making strategic campaigning decisions to woo voters during elections. Compromise is crucial. Understanding this need Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has found an incredulous way to appease Muslim voters.

Forsaking the party chief's rule -- Party chief Raj Thackeray only replies in Marathi when asked questions in Hindi and English in the state -- some party members have decided not to pay much attention to the lingua franca diktat. Party members and ticket hopefuls from the MNS have decided to distribute electoral material printed in Urdu to entice Muslim voters.


Poll affair: Some party members earlier this week were seen distributing
pamphlets in Urdu as well as Marathi in Grant Road area


Raj Thackeray, in the past, has advocated the use of Marathi language in all public functions in the state. Moreover, his anti-Hindi stance has also been belied. In 2009, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had strongly criticized his stance against Hindi saying he is indulging in vote bank politics.

Party members, however, claim that Raj is not against any language; his fight is for the sons of the soil.
"We do not oppose the use of any language. Raj Saheb himself converses in Urdu at times," said Haji Arafat Shaikh, vice president of the party.

Even Shaikh has got his manifesto printed in Urdu, which he plans to distribute in the coming days.

"There are many people in the Muslim community who speak Urdu and are fluent in only that language. Our aim is to reach this section of people and make clear our party ideology to them," said Shaikh.

But these assertions have got the political pundits' tongues wagging.

They argue that the maneuver is nothing more than a political gimmick.

Political experts are pegging that MNS would tilt the balance of power in the BMC polls as its past record in elections proves that it can win crucial seats.

In the recently held Kalyan-Dombivli civic polls, MNS won a substantial 26 seats, whereas the Sena-BJP combine managed to win only 40 seats.

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