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Backfired? Raj Thackeray's Malegaon rally turned voters against MNS

Wednesday April 18, 2012 08:36:05 PM, Staff Reporter

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Malegaon: Political observers noted that the fanfare with which Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) founder Raj Thackeray's rally was planned in Malegaon had overshadowed the one addressed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in the town.


However, the election results show that the speech - filled with hatred and ignorance about local issues, that Raj Thackeray delivered in Malegaon proved deadly for MNS chances in the Malegaon civic elections. Instead of helping the party candidates - specially in the Muslim concentrated areas, his speech in fact spoiled the favorable atmosphere his newly joined 'Muslim cadre' had created.


Raj Thackeray visited Malegaon on April 12, the last day of the poll campaign for the Malegaon corporation elections to seek support for his party candidates. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), encouraged by the induction of few high profile and influential Muslim figures into the party fold, had fielded 15 candidates in the 100% Muslim concentrated areas. Political observers noted that the newly joined cadre had in fact worked very hard to create an atmosphere favorable to the party and they were expecting some surprising results in the elections.


However, after the election results, the party cadre feel that the comments made by Raj Thackeray in his speech about Malegaon and Bhiwandi - both having a large number of Muslim population, spoiled the favorable atmosphere they had created after working day in and day out.


"It is true that the comments made in Raj saheb's speech went against us", an MNS worker said to on the condition of anonymity.


Including the 15 candidates the MNS had fielded in the Muslim concentrated areas, the party had contested on 32 seats for the total 80 seats in the civic body. But, the party lost not only all the 15 seats it contested in Muslim areas, it could win just two seats from the remaining.


Political analysts observe that the language used in Raj Thackeray's speech and the comments made about the two towns displeased Muslim and non-Muslim voters both. As a result, MNS which was banking on Thackeray's rally to improve its chances, in fact received irreparable damage.


The MNS rally, which was telecast live, was organized on Malegaon Eid-Gah ground on April 12 to garner support for the party candidates, who were contesting for the Malegaon Corporation elections.


"At these places, terrorists come and stay. It is only when bomb blasts happen at some places and investigations are done, it come to fore that those involved were having tea with the locals", he said while referring to Malegaon and Bhiwandi.


Instead of touching the local issues and speaking on his party manifesto, he concentrated on the communal politics, national issues and sought support for the 2014 Maharashtra Assembly elections.


"I know the conditions in Malegaon is very bad. But same is the case everywhere in the state. If you want to see the changes in the town, vote for me in the 2014 elections", he said.




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Picture of the Day

Abdul Malik Yunus Esa (second from left), sitting Mayor of Malegaon, receiving certificate from election officer Ms Pragya Bede after winning the civic elections on April 16, 2011. Also seen in the picture is NCP stalwart Yunus Esa. 




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