Raj Thackeray's rally shows cracks within party

While around 500 workers were tirelessly preparing for their leader’s address in the city, MNS city chief Bala Shedge and corporator Ravindra Dhangekar’s absence reveals the visible rift in the party

With the Lok Sabha elections looming large, one would think that political parties are united and ready for the big fight. However, it appears that all is not well within Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. And this was amply clear on Monday when MNS city chief Bala Shedge and corporator Ravindra Dhangekar were missing from the preparations ahead of their leader’s big rally in the city.

Where are they? Bala Shedge and corporator Ravindra Dhangekar missed the meet when Paigude’s candidature was announced. File pic

For the last two days, around 500 MNS workers have been tirelessly working to prepare for the rally in the city. MNS candidate Deepak Paigude has been overseeing every small detail, ensuring that everything goes off without a hitch. However, the absence of Shedge and Dhangekar was obvious to all.

When mid-day contacted MNS’ other city chief, Prakash Dhore admitted that some party members were not part of the rally preparations. “I don’t want to name anyone. But, it’s true that some people are distancing themselves.” He added that there were also a few who were deliberately spreading negative news about the party in the media.

And while Dhore chose to be politically correct, corporator Rupali Patil targeted Dhangekar and Shedge. “All party workers are busy preparing for Raj Saheb’s rally. The only exceptions are Dhangekar and Shedge.” However, Dhore did say that Dhangekar was involved in the rally prep.

Dhangekar and Shedge were unavailable for comment. An office bearer, with allegiance to Dhangekar, said, “We don’t know anything about today’s rally. Rather Paigude has not involved us in the preparations.”


The first glimpse of a split between Paigude, Dhangekar and Shedge was observed when Paigude’s candidature for the Pune Lok Sabha seat was announced. The two were absent for the meet. When asked, Paigude had said that all parties had to deal with factionalism.

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