Raj Thackeray to explain poll debacle at rally

Following the party’s disastrous performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray has decided to reach out to the people of the state to explain "what went wrong".

Mr. Thackeray will be addressing his first ever public rally in Mumbai after the elections on May 31, with an aim to make his party’s stand clear on the debacle and to answer some "uncomfortable" questions.

The only comment coming from Mr. Thackeray after the debacle was a one-liner: “Modi Won. Everyone else lost.” However, he congratulated his estranged cousin and the Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray for his victory, by sending a bouquet.

The MNS had contested 10 Lok Sabha seats in this election. However, all its candidates lost their deposits. The party candidates could not cross one lakh mark in nine constituencies, except for in Kalyan.

On Tuesday, the party chief held a review meeting with senior leaders from the MNS and the candidates. “The defeat in Lok Sabha elections was discussed. It was decided to reach out to people with our agenda for the state with renewed force,” said a leader who attended the meeting.

The leader added that the party found it necessary to answer all the criticism it suffered after the election results. “It is also necessary to boost the morale of the party activists,” he said. His rally is also considered as a campaign kick-off for the state assembly elections, likely to be held in October.

In the 2009 elections, the militant Raj — seen as Bal Thackeray’s natural heir — succeeded in dividing the saffron vote, leading to the defeat of Shiv Sena-BJP candidates in nine constituencies. But in this election, the MNS vote plummeted from 15 lakh to just 7 lakh. The Shiv Sena, on the other hand, got 18 seats — seven more than 2009. The Raj factor had strained the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance when the BJP reached out to the MNS chief before the polls. It took a phone call from Narendra Modi to Uddhav to calm the waters.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 2:03:48 PM |

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