Election 2019: MNS is not desperate for national attention says Raj Thackeray

Updated: Apr 26, 2019, 08:05 IST | Hemal Ashar | Mumbai

MNS says chief's blistering election attacks are effective; has an entire cell researching government's tall claims through the years

Raj Thackeray at an election rally.
Raj Thackeray at an election rally.

Raj Thackeray, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief, has emerged as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) basher-in-chief as the election caravan trundles on, with Mumbai set to vote on Monday, April 29. For some, though, Raj's attacks are seen as a desperate gambit by a floundering party to have a voice on the national political stage.

MNS general secretary Shalini Thackeray, laughed off the term "desperate gambit". "What do you mean by desperate for national attention? Raj Thackeray had declared earlier, too, that the MNS will not be contesting the Lok Sabha elections. We will be concentrating on the Vidhan Sabha elections," she shot back.

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Also Read: Elections 2019: Raj Thackeray, Dhananjay Munde in demand to campaign for Congress

Raj Thackeray's fiery anti-BJP rhetoric seems to have made the latter sit up and take note. Pics/Rane Ashish
Raj Thackeray's fiery anti-BJP rhetoric seems to have made the latter sit up and take note. Pics/Rane Ashish

New song

The MNS president acknowledged that the MNS had bashed the Congress years earlier and their chief had been an enthusiastic supporter of BJP and in fact was all for Narendra Modi as PM. "Today, though, it has changed because of the atmosphere of fear that this government has created and the lies they have told. The MNS is not for any party in particular, if a certain party benefits by us speaking out, so be it. We are simply saying that the nation does not want the Modi-Shah government again, which is in essence we do not want the BJP again, the people do not want them," said Shalini.

Also Read: Elections 2019: Shiv Sena compiles video to get back at MNS and Congress

False alarms

The secretary added, "We had a dedicated cell doing research on all BJP's failures and false promises. This is the reason all our arguments are buttressed by numbers and examples, be the failure of the Make in India scheme or problems with DeMo, where small businesses did not recover after the note ban. It is shocking that DeMo was introduced without informing the Cabinet or the Reserve Bank of India." The MNS said one measure of its BJP-bashing efficacy is that, "Raj Thackeray is being trolled heavily by BJP supporters, which means his missiles are hitting the mark."

Divisive, who we?

In the end, though, when Shalini was reminded of the ultimate irony that MNS, a party whose cornerstone was dividing the city of UP/Bihar vs Maharashtrian lines, was accusing the BJP of being divisive, the MNS office-bearer denied that her party's identity was equated with attacks on migrants. "We have never divided Mumbai, all we had said is that this city cannot take in any more. To take in more and more people is injustice to the citizens living here," she finished, emphatically.

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Also Read: Raj Thackeray at his rally in Kalachowkie: This government will go, says MNS chief

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