Raj Thackeray effects changes in party with polls in mind

June 21st, 2009 - 2:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Raj Thackeray Mumbai, June 21 (IANS) Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has dissolved the party’s women and labour wings ahead of the upcoming assembly elections, a party official said Sunday.
“Orders to this effect were issued last (Saturday) evening. A new team of office-bearers shall be announced shortly,” party spokesman Nitin Sardesai told IANS.

He said this was part of the ongoing process to rejuvenate the party and prepare for the assembly elections due in October.

Sardesai dismissed speculation that the MNS central team of office-bearers would be axed. He termed them as rumours.

A senior founding leader, requesting anonymity, said the move to dissolve certain units had been discussed and debated for some time in the party, especially after the Lok Sabha elections.

“The biggest challenge before the MNS is the ensuing assembly elections. It was necessary to make changes without creating problems,” the leader said.

He said there are likely to be many more changes in the party set-up at the district-level and the grassroots level by next month.

In the parliamentary elections, MNS had put up 12 candidates in the state but failed to win even a single seat. Although it did not win a single seat, it harmed the prospects of the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party in several constituencies.

Its candidates led over the rival candidates in nearly 20 of the 72 assembly segments in the six Lok Sabha constituencies.

Bouyed by its impressive performance, the party has announced its intentions to put up candidates in all the 288 assembly constituencies.

Party insiders say that preparations for the elections, including finalizing MNS strategy and candidates for the next elections is proceeding at a fast pace.

At his birthday last week, Thackeray even ‘launched’ the party’s fund collection drive by seeking cash donations from MNS activists; it was collected in a huge box kept near his house in Dadar.

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