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MNS blueprint for development to be released in time for assembly polls

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 - 7:00am IST | Agency: dna

  • Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray arrives for a meeting with party candidates who lost the Lok Sabha elections, at Shivaji Park on Tuesday Hemant Padalkar dna

After its severe drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls, the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is planning to release its much-publicised, but delayed, blueprint for development of the state before the assembly elections.

The blue print, work on which went on for around seven and-a-half years, covers core issues like health, agriculture, infrastructure and education. The document being prepared by MNS's Pune-based Maharashtra Samajik Navnirman Academy, is now likely to be released in August.

Raj also met other MNS leaders on Tuesday to review the party's electoral decimation. He is to address a rally on May 31.

MNS leaders, who attended the meeting said the general consensus was that the Modi wave had swept them out. All 10 MNS candidates, who together got just 7,08,118 (1.5%) votes, forfeited their deposits. Adding insult to injury, its arch rival, Shiv Sena, won 18 of the 20 seats it contested.

"The blueprint preparation was a mammoth job," said a source, adding that it had around 9,000 pages of references and documents. "It runs into almost 8,000 pages. We are now simplifying it to present it before the people," said the MNS leader.

Party leaders, meanwhile, said Raj would reach out to people through the May 31 rally and explain the reasons for the party's debacle, and chalk out the way forward.

"Like the Modi wave, many waves have come and gone," said an MNS legislator, adding that LS results were unlikely to impact their fortunes in the assembly polls.

"We may have lost the battle, but will win the war," said one of the candidates who was humbled at the hustings.

According to party activists, apart from the Modi wave, factors like a weak organisation, lack of programme, inability to take issues like the anti-toll agitation to its logical end, absence of direct link between Raj and the cadre, image of being spoilers for the Shiv Sena-BJP, the paradox of encashing on the anti-establishment vote that eventually help the Congress-NCP, and the image of Raj being an over-aggressive leader may have been the stumbling blocks.

In 2009, MNS had emerged a spoiler, contributing to the defeat of Shiv Sena-BJP in nine of the 12 Lok Sabha seats, including five in Mumbai, it contested.

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