The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) may not contest the upcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra. According to media reports, the party functionaries told Thackeray that the MNS is not in a position to contest polls. Citing the turmoil and defection in parties like Congress and NCP, some leaders of the party have suggested MNS chief to drop the idea of contesting the upcoming elections in the state. The workers at the grass-root level are of the view that it will be critical for the party to hold the party cadre together if it contests elections.
Interestingly, MNS had backed off from contesting the Lok Sabha polls held earlier this year.
Moreover, Raj Thackeray, was grilled by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case in August this year. The Mumbai police has imposed section 144 of CrPC (banning unlawful assembly) outside the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office. The move was taken apprehending law and order problem, a police official said. “Raj has appealed his party workers not to throng outside the ED office but we don’t want to take any chances,” the official had said.
The MNS is struggling to stay relevant in the state politics. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), founded in 2006 by Raj Thackeray after he fell out with Shiv Sena patriarch and his uncle Bal Thackeray, reached its zenith in 2009 assembly elections when it won 13 out of total 288 seats. The party was also said to be responsible for defeat of Shiv Sena candidates in Mumbai and its metropolitan region, apparently due to the division of Marathi votes.