Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had recently rebranded itself from its previously secular outlook to now a perceivably committed party to Hindutva and Marathawad. After the Shiv Sena joined the Maha Vikas Aghadi with the NCP and the Congress, it has had to openly abandon its long held ideology of Hindutva, and also some would say, Balasaheb Thackeray’s ideology. This had left an immense void in Maharashtrian politics, which is now being filled by the MNS.
Only recently, the MNS had come out in open support of PM Narendra Modi and his government’s plans to evict illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators from the country. In line with this, the MNS has now put up posters in Panvel area of Raigad district. Reading, ‘Bangladeshis leave the country lest you will be driven out in MNS style’, the posters bear pictures of MNS chief Raj Thackeray and his son Amit, who recently made his debut in politics. The posters have a saffron backdrop to them as well.
Raj Thackeray had earlier unveiled his party’s new flag which is saffron in colour and bears the ‘rajmudra’ (royal seal) used during the times of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Raj Thackeray is certainly capitalizing on his cousin Uddhav’s recent abandonment of Hindutva. Raj Thackeray is known as a no-nonsense and unapologetic politician. His eviction warning to illegal infiltrators should certainly worry them, who will be well advised to return to their countries of origin as soon as possible.
Raj Thackeray also came out in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens, as according to him, it is absolutely right to deport illegal Bangladeshi and Pakistani infiltrators in India.
When Thackeray launched the MNS in 2006, his party flag consisted of three colours – saffron, blue and green, which symbolized his party’s commitment to the welfare of Hindus, Muslims and Dalits. However, Raj Thackeray has not hit a big political fortune following this line of politics, and his latest rebranding may just prove to be the re-invigoration his party needed all the way long. The only colour which his new flag contains is Bhagwa. With the MNS taking up a nationalist position in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena ought to be very worried, as they just wouldn’t be able to survive a two frontal attack by the BJP and the MNS in the foreseeable future.