Uddhav Thackeray speaking on the 51st Anniversarry of Sena (Foundation day) at Shanmukhanand Hall in June this year. The party hopes to improve its performance in the 2019 state elections
Worried about the 2019 polls, with the party fast losing ground in rural Maharashtra, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has decided, for the first time, to review the performance of the party's Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and Members of Parliament (MPs) on Monday.
Last month, at a meeting held to discuss the party's growth, the district heads aired their discontent at the MPs' and MLAs' way of functioning. They also pointed out that the party's ministers were proving to be of no help to party workers and were unable to resolve voters' issues.
After such claims at meetings, and fearing the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) rising clout in Maharashtra, Thackeray wants to ensure all MLAs and MPs work on the ground. The BJP has been the dominant partner in the saffron alliance with the Sena in the government, and has dominated all major council and corporation polls, almost winning the BMC polls earlier this year. These reasons have got Thackeray thinking that serious action was required, revealed sources.
The first big election will be the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, where the party is looking to contest alone from all 48 constituencies, following which it will fight the state assembly polls. The party has already prepared its list of 48 probable Lok Sabha candidates. The fact that none of the Sena ministers has stood out in the past three years has also become cause for concern for the party chief, said party insiders.
A senior Sena leader, who did not wish to be named, said, "At the meeting on Monday, the performance of each MLA and MP will be discussed and underperformers may stand to lose a chance in the upcoming polls. There will be a close eye kept on the probable 48 Lok Sabha candidates listed currently, and office bearers of the party will maintain records."
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