Raj Thackeray to hold MNS' annual rally on Gudhi Padwa from this year

Mumbai: Seeking to improve his party's fortunes ahead of the all-important Mumbai civic body polls, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has decided to hold a public rally on 'Gudhi Padwa' every year, the day which is celebrated as Maharashtrian new year.

MNS chief Raj Thackeray
MNS chief Raj Thackeray

The party's first such event, where Raj will address the party workers, much like rival Shiv Sena's Dussehra rally, will be held on April 8. The MNS has even booked Shivaji Park in Dadar for the event, the same venue where Bal Thackeray-founded Shiv Sena has been organising its annual rally on Dussehra every year.

Talking about the development, a senior MNS leader said, "We are going to organise a rally on every Gudhi Padwa beginning this year. We have booked the Shivaji Park ground on April 8 for the rally."

"We believe that the annual rally will inspire and mobilise the workers and work as a catalyst. At the moment, the party lacks credibility and the workers can't be motivated unless there is one-on-one dialogue with the top leadership," the leader said. The MNS is completing a decade of its foundation this Wednesday and Thackeray has asked the party office-bearers to celebrate the day in a traditional way.

"Every zonal chief has been asked to put up six-feet large lanterns wrapped in party colours. Rajsaheb has asked us to write social messages on these lanterns. Sweets will be distributed to school children on this day," a zonal chief from eastern suburbs said on condition of anonymity.

Thackeray will address the party office-bearers at a meeting to be held in Matunga in central Mumbai tomorrow, where he is likely to talk about the party's "revival" plan.

Founded in March 2006 after Raj broke away from the Shiv Sena, the MNS could win just one seat out of 288 constituencies in Maharashtra in 2014. It had also contested 10 Lok Sabha seats in 2014. However, all its candidates lost their deposits.

The party had also failed to win the Kalyan-Dombivli municipal corporation election in October 2015, which was being seen as a litmus test for the party ahead of the prestigious Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) scheduled in February 2017. (Read more)

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