The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) will hold written tests and screening interviews for selecting candidates for the upcoming civic polls in a few cities in the State. MNS leader Raj Thackeray announced here on Saturday that only those members who performed well in the one-and-a-half hour test to be held on December 4 would be considered for party candidature.
Many civic bodies are due for elections early next year. This includes the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, etc.
“Candidates should not think they will get tickets for sure. Only those clearing the examination will be eligible for tickets,” Mr. Thackeray said, while addressing the party workers here. He said the move was aimed at choosing efficient and capable candidates.
“I am not contesting the civic polls to earn money. The elected candidates should be able to solve the everyday problems of the people. If they can't do it, what is use of getting elected,” he asked.
“I want to do something new. This is not a publicity stunt,” he said. He expressed unhappiness that the corporators who got elected to the civic bodies did not even have basic information about the functioning of the body.
“The decision has been taken to empower all of you. Do not think this is a conspiracy to keep you away from the party ticket. This aims to build confidence in you that you know the place where you are going,” Mr. Thackeray said.
He said the party aimed to hold exams on similar lines for assembly elections.
Mr. Thackeray said even he would need to give an exam if he wished to contest an election. “There is no question of seniority. Even those corporators who have previously been in office will have to appear for the exam.”
The party will conduct the written exams on December 4 across various centres. “I will take interviews of only those people who have appeared for the exam,” he said, warning party members not to adhere to any malpractices while appearing for the exam.
“You will have to be present at the exam centre at least two hours before the exam time. No one will be let out of the exam hall till [they] hand over the paper. No cellphones or electronic appliances will be allowed inside the centre.”
Candidates will be questioned on various aspects of civic administration