Leaders of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Thursday said they were in favour of projecting the party president Raj Thackeray as the Chief Ministerial nominee ahead of the coming Assembly elections in Maharashtra.
The MNS office-bearers met, and unanimously decided that Raj Thackeray should be projected for the top post of the state, on the lines of BJP’s well-in-advance projection of Narendra Modi for the Prime Minister’s post.
“Today’s meeting was convened to boost the morale of the cadre,” MNS leader Pravin Darekar told reporters.
“If the people want to see Raj saheb lead the state, as was the case with Narendra Modi (at the national level) who was projected for the Prime Minister’s post, we will insist that he (Thackeray) agree to it,” Darekar said.
Thackeray was not present at the meeting. Darekar said the MNS chief was not slated to be present, but he would address a big rally on May 31, “to give a direction to the party”.
Asked about Bala Nandgaonkar, a key MNS leader, skipping two important party meetings in the wake of the Lok Sabha election results, Darekar said, “He is in Konkan with his family.”
He added that MNS workers were not demoralised by the party’s poor showing in the polls.
All the ten candidates of MNS lost in the Lok Sabha elections, and some of them forfeited their deposits. Its arch rival Shiv Sena, on the other hand, won 18 seats.
An MNS source said some organisational changes were expected before the Assembly polls which are due later this year.