Mumbai: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray tonight unveiled the party’s “blueprint” for the development of the state as part of its campaign for the October 15 Assembly polls. The “MNS blueprint for Maharashtra” came on a day of unprecedented political developments in the state including the crumbling of 25-year-old Shiv Sena-BJP alliance and the 15-year-old Congress-NCP alliance, due to intense pressure over seat allocation in Assembly poll.
Recently, the MNS had unveiled its poll campaign slogan, “Yes, it’s possible”, indicating that the party is attempting a shift from agitation and controversy-laden politics it has come to be identified with. The MNS also released a poster, originally in Marathi, saying, “Let’s create a Maharashtra that the world envies. Yes, it’s possible,” which mirrors US President Barack Obama’s famous ‘Yes, we can’ slogan coined during his 2009 presidential campaign.
The party’s campaign revolves around developmental issues plaguing the state and proposed solutions vetted by experts. “There is no politics involved in the release of the blueprint,” Raj said. The MNS chief did not comment on the issue of the breakup of the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance, saying, “This is not the day for speaking about such a topic”.
In a significant move, Raj also demanded “autonomous status” for Maharashtra, saying it would help the state’s development by enabling it to frame and execute region-centric policies. “We are not seeking an independent state, but an autonomous Maharashtra. This is because people sitting in Delhi do not know what our woes are,” he claimed.
Unveiling the ‘blueprint’ at suburban Matunga’s Shanmukhananda Hall, Raj tried to woo voters from different sections like farmers, women, police and youth. The ‘blueprint’ has proposed populist steps like complete loan waiver for farmers, better public transport, traffic management, resolving parking issues by developing lots, as well as water transport facilities