The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena which is known for targeting north Indians has softened its stand against the community. The party which had assaulted north Indian taxi drivers and job aspirants is trying to woo them as the assembly election is just round the corner. According to political experts, the MNS can’t win election only on the basis of Marathi manoos agenda as there is a sizeable number of north Indian population is several areas of the city. The party leaders have realized that people are voting for development instead of religion and caste factor.
MNS is planning to field north Indian candidates in the constituencies which have large number of population belonging to north Indian community. North Indian candidates will be campaigning for the party in these constituencies. There are several North Indian community dominated assembly constituencies where the party has fared poorly in the polls held earlier.
Kandivali has a sizeable number of people belonging to states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The MNS will be fielding north Indian candidate Adv. Akhilesh Chaubey, who also handles legal work of the party from Kandivali constituency. The 32-year-old lawyer, hails from Jaunpur in UP.
Talking to AV, Akhilesh Chaubey, vice-president of its legal wing said, “Yes I will be contesting the upcoming assembly election from Kandivali constituency.” Speaking about the party’s change in stand against north Indians, Chaubey said, “Rajsaheb never had any problem with north Indians who have been living here for several decades. The party was unhappy with certain sections of the north Indians in the city and not the community as a whole.”
Sources from MNS said, “Very few people belonging to states like UP and Bihar vote for us. Therefore, we have fielded north Indian candidates who will be campaigning for the party. This step will benefit us in the upcoming assembly election.”
MNS corporator Sujatha Pathak, from T ward is also in fray to contest assembly elections. She said, “I am unaware whether I will be offered an opportunity to contest election. If the party offers me responsibility to contest assembly election then I will definitely consider it.”
In the past, Lok Sabha polls MNS had appointed star campaigner Rita Gupta, wife of Raj Thackeray’s business partner and Vageesh Saraswat. For the upcoming assembly polls they are likely to campaign to attract voters hailing from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
In the past Raj Thackeray had attacked Amitabh Bachchan for giving more preference to his home state instead of Mumbai. He had repeatedly criticised north Indians in the city for nursing political ambitions and cited politicians such as Sanjay Nirupam and Kripashankar Singh as examples.
This time Raj himself will contest the assembly polls. He is likely to contest from two assembly constituencies of Dadar and Nashik. The assembly polls are scheduled to be held in the month of October.