If the headlines of the previous few days are something to go by, Raj Thackeray is again on Maharashtra’s political scene. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief, as soon as thought-about the political inheritor of his firebrand uncle Bal Thackeray, is hogging the limelight together with his conflict towards loudspeakers in Maharashtra, in search of a ban on the speaker system outdoors mosques.
In different phrases, political specialists say, Raj Thackeray is making an attempt to fill within the footwear of the Shiv Sena which has gone smooth on its ‘Hindutva’ pitch after an alliance with the Nationalist Congress Celebration and the Congress which is ruling the state.
The chief’s current campaign — which he launched by daring the Maha Vikas Aghadi authorities to deliver down all loudspeakers by Could 3 —- was amplified at a mega rally in Aurangabad on Sunday when he mentioned beginning Could 4, he would “not take heed to anyone”.
“It’s now or by no means…. All loudspeakers have to be eliminated after Could 3. After (Ramzan) Eid…. From Could 4, I cannot take heed to anyone. All Hindus will blare out Hanuman Chalisa outdoors mosques at double quantity,” he thundered on the rally within the vacationer centre of Aurangabad.
Taking the demand on a much bigger scale, he urged that loudspeakers have to be taken off from all spiritual locations all around the nation, even from temples, however solely after they’re faraway from the mosques.
Raj additional warned that “if the federal government fails to heed his ultimatum by Could 3″, then he wouldn’t be answerable for the results, including that he was neither nor eager to have disturbances within the state.
Reiterating that loudspeakers had been a “social” and never a “spiritual” matter, he made it clear that if Muslims attempt to make it a ‘spiritual’ subject, then Hindus would additionally reply to it with faith.
The true descendant?
Accusing Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray — additionally Raj Thackeray’s cousin — of eradicating loudspeakers put up by Hindus, the MNS stepped up its assault and claimed its get together chief was the “true inheritor” of late Bal Thackeray, usually dubbed a “crusader” for Hindus.
The get together put up a banner outdoors the Shiv Sena Bhavan in Dadar addressed to Bal Thackeray, which mentioned: “See, your son CM Uddhav Thackeray, regardless of being a Hindu, is asking us to take away loudspeakers put up by Hindus. He’s banning us from reciting Hanuman Chalisa.”
“If anybody is carrying ahead your legacy and is your true inheritor, it’s only Raj Thackeray,” it mentioned.
The 54-year-old, as soon as identified to be the alter ego of his uncle, appears to be on a path to reinvent himself and his political profession. Provided that his ‘Marathi Manoos’ pitch failed to chop ice with voters, Raj Thackeray is searching for a extra macro Hindutva attraction.
As his cousin helms the state as chief minister, Raj Thackeray is now aping his uncle in optics too. Wrapped in a saffron scarf, the chief now begins his speech with the acquainted “Jamlelya majhya tamam Hindu Mata, bhagini ani bhadhu… (Greetings to my Hindu moms, sisters and brothers),” simply as Bal Thackeray did.
Trying to eat into Sena’s house?
Raj Thackeray’s political reinvention comes at a time when the BJP has accused the Shiv Sena of “abandoning” Hindutva and becoming a member of palms with the NCP and Congress.
The selection of venue for the Could 1 rally too was vital: Aurangabad is a Sena stronghold, outdoors of Mumbai and Thane. The get together has been demanding that the town, named after the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, ought to be renamed Sambhajinagar, after Maratha king Shivaji’s oldest son.
Raj Thackeray can also be scheduled to go to Ayodhya on June 5 — a basic transfer after his current reward of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for taking down loudspeakers within the state.
What’s brewing with the BJP?
The MNS chief additionally appears to have softened his stand vis-à-vis the BJP, as soon as an ally of the Shiv Sena. From a harsh critic of the saffron get together, the MNS now appears to have reached a tacit understanding with the BJP.
The event additionally assumes significance because it comes months earlier than elections in 15 municipal companies and 27 district councils — seen as a litmus take a look at for the 2024 normal and meeting elections.
Raj Thackeray’s loudspeaker diatribe additionally noticed help from the BJP as each skipped an all-party assembly known as by Uddhav Thackeray to debate the controversy and are actually accusing the Sena of forgetting “Bal Thackeray’s ideas”.
Union Minister and senior BJP chief Nitin Gadkari met Raj Thackeray at his residence in Shivaji Park final month. Maharashtra’s former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and his spouse Amrita Fadnavis additionally met him final November, sparking speculations of a attainable alliance between the 2 events.
Nevertheless, regardless of hypothesis, each the BJP and the MNS have up to now denied they had been working collectively.