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Have setbacks mellowed down Raj Thackeray?

There is a whiff of fresh air in the management of the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena if recent reports of freer expression by MNS leaders is any guide. That Raj is tolerant of at least limited dissent is a good sign which he and the party must build upon. Some leaders of the party have given vent to their feelings in the wake of the party’s abject performance in the recently-held municipal elections. They reportedly indicated that the cadre felt rudderless and there was a feeling that the party had no specific ideological stand on issues affecting Maharashtra’s politics. Also, there was a deep feeling that Raj Thackeray should be more accessible to party workers. There is yet no revolt in the party and Raj’s mild reaction to words of advice from party men has saved the day for now. If he keeps up this attitude, he can still, with his organizational skills, pull his party out of morass.

Raj Thackeray’s counter to his party men that they should have communicated their views with logic and emphasis is perfectly in spirit. It would be so much in order if there were to be honest give and take between Raj and his party colleagues rather than a talking down by the president to his cadres with little heart in their genuine complaints. That Raj has done some introspection and is planning to go around the state energizing his cadres is heartening. But he must give up the path of strong-arm tactics to browbeat sections of the population like he did with the Mumbai Biharis a few years ago and the film fraternity in more recent times. Instead, he must fight for causes that represent the aspirations of people at large. He has the political mettle. Now he must translate it into political success.

This post was syndicated from Free Press Journal. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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