Political observers noted that the fanfare with which Maharashtra
Navnirman Sena (MNS) founder Raj Thackeray's rally was planned in
Malegaon had overshadowed the one addressed by Maharashtra Chief
Minister Prithviraj Chavan in the town.
However, the election results show
that the speech - filled with hatred and ignorance about local
issues, that Raj Thackeray delivered in Malegaon proved deadly for
MNS chances in the Malegaon civic elections. Instead of
helping the party candidates - specially in the Muslim concentrated
areas, his speech in fact spoiled the favorable atmosphere his
newly joined 'Muslim cadre' had created.
Raj Thackeray visited Malegaon on
April 12, the last day of the poll campaign for the Malegaon
corporation elections to seek support for his party candidates.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), encouraged by the induction of
few high profile and influential Muslim figures into the party
fold, had fielded 15 candidates in the 100% Muslim concentrated
areas. Political observers noted that the newly joined cadre had
in fact worked very hard to create an atmosphere favorable to the
party and they were expecting some surprising results in the
However, after the election results,
the party cadre feel that the comments made by Raj Thackeray in
his speech about Malegaon and Bhiwandi - both having a large
number of Muslim population, spoiled the favorable atmosphere they
had created after working day in and day out.
"It is true that the comments made
in Raj saheb's speech went against us", an MNS worker said to
ummid.com on the condition of anonymity.
Including the 15 candidates the MNS
had fielded in the Muslim concentrated areas, the party had
contested on 32 seats for the total 80 seats in the civic body.
But, the party lost not only all the 15 seats it contested in Muslim
areas, it could win just two seats from the remaining.
Political analysts observe that the
language used in Raj Thackeray's speech and the comments made
about the two towns displeased Muslim and non-Muslim voters both.
As a result, MNS which was banking on Thackeray's rally to improve
its chances, in fact received irreparable damage.
The MNS rally, which was telecast
live, was organized on
Malegaon Eid-Gah ground on April 12 to garner support for the
party candidates, who were contesting for the Malegaon Corporation
"At these places, terrorists come
and stay. It is only when bomb blasts happen at some places and
investigations are done, it come to fore that those involved were
having tea with the locals", he said while referring to Malegaon
Instead of touching the local issues
and speaking on his party manifesto, he concentrated on the
communal politics, national issues and sought support for the 2014
Maharashtra Assembly elections.
"I know the conditions in Malegaon
is very bad. But same is the case everywhere in the state. If you
want to see the changes in the town, vote for me in the 2014
elections", he said.