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Maharashtra assembly election results 2019: Raj Thackeray’s MNS fielded 110 candidates in Maharashtra, leads in 1 seat

A powerful orator and crowd puller, Raj Thackeray, 51, has not been able to convert the crowd he attracts into votes.

Updated: Oct 24, 2019 12:34 IST

By Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times New Delhi

Though the MNS did not contest the 2019 national elections, Raj Thackeray campaigned extensively against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) across the state. (HT FILE PHOTO)

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has yet again failed to leave his mark on an election. Initial trends from Maharashtra show that the MNS is trailing in all but one of the 110 seats it contested in the October 21 assembly elections.

A powerful orator and crowd puller, Raj Thackeray, 51, has not been able to convert the crowd he attracts into votes.

In the 2009 assembly elections, the MNS won 13 seats. In 2014, it won just one. Raj Thackeray left the Shiv Sena in 2006 and formed the MNS.

For full coverage of Haryana, Maharashtra assembly elections 2019, Click here.



Though the MNS did not contest the 2019 national elections, Raj Thackeray campaigned extensively against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) across the state.



Often described as the true heir of his uncle and Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray , in the national elections, the MNS chief effectively used audio visual presentations with big screens installed at the venues to pep up his fiery speeches laced with sarcasm and humour.

His “lava re toh video (play the video)” rallies had become a rage among audiences as he replayed clips of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speeches and poll promises in the run up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

But that did not cut much ice with the voters. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena combine swept the state, winning 42 out of the total 48 Lok Sabha seats. While the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) won four, the Congress won one and the remaining one went to the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM).

After the elections, Raj Thackeray blamed electronic voting machines (EVMs) for the BJP’s huge mandate and even tried to persuade the Congress and the BJP to boycott the assembly elections till the Election Commission of India brings back ballot papers.

But NCP chief Sharad Pawar and the Congress both rejected his suggestion.

During his first visit to Delhi in 14 years on July 8, when he visited the EC office to demand that the Maharashtra assembly polls be held through ballot papers, he also called on United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson and now Congress president Sonia Gandhi to discuss the EVM issue.

Though a reluctant Raj Thackeray finally agreed to contest the state elections, his aggression and unique style of campaigning specially crafted for the Lok Sabha elections were missing in the state polls.

He no longer attacked the Prime Minister, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah or Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

His ire mainly directed at the BJP and the Shiv Sena at an organisational and party level, Raj Thackeray talked about making the MNS as a strong opposition that could take on the government.

Political analysts are of the view that Raj Thackeray has come to terms with political reality. They also suggested that he has mellowed after the enforcement directorate (ED) questioned him in connection with the Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

ED is probing alleged irregularities relating to loans and equity investments worth over Rs 450 crore by IL&FS in Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company, which is developing Kohinoor Square tower in Mumbai’s Dadar area. Raj Thackeray was once associated with the company.

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