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From Flag to Stage: Raj Thackeray's fight plan [THREAD]

- In mid 2000s when Udhav got reins of Shiv Sena from Bala Saheb, Raj went out and formed his own party. It was MNS.

- The party saw a sudden rise and got a good start with few seats in assembly elex and a few..
..more in BMC elex

- But, the rise wasn't consistent. Shiv Sena was riding on agenda of Hindutva and along with BJP, it was looking in a better position

- Raj, who has always lead a 'Maratha Manus' point of view and has played Anti-Gujarati politics, started praising Modi's..
.. Gujarat model

- This was around 2014. The one more year passed and Raj started to see that his praises aren't earning him any position.

- During 2015-2019, Raj became the most prominent Maratha critic of PM Modi & Amit Shah

- All this while, his party failed to show...
..improvement

- Raj, just like his father, is very eloquent speaker. He is a good crowd puller, but unlike his father, he doesn't have the magic to convert this crowd into votes.

- Nevertheless, he conducted several rallies before 2019 elections, even though his party wasn't...
..even contesting

- His rallies didn't make even a dent and Modi came back with even improved majority.

- Then came 2019 state assembly elections. MNS, like every other time, failed again. But, this time, Shiv Sena did something that brought sparkles in Raj's eyes
- Shiv Sena in persuit of CM seat, deceived hindutva agenda and sat on the lap of Congress & NCP

- Many Hindutva loyalists in Shiv Sena were angry. But they were persuaded. However, the move created a void of sorts that could address Hindutva voters
- BJP couldn't fill that void instantly because it had just tried and failed to make alliance with NCP

- Then came CAA - NRC, in Congress'pressure, Shiv Sena started to oppose that

- Looking at this golden opportunity, In Jan 2020, Raj made a few changes in MNS
- The party flag dropped blue (signified Dalits) and green (signified Muslims) from it's flag and went all out saffron with Raj Mudra of Chhatrapati Shiva Ji Maharaj.

- For the first time, he used Veer Savarkar's image along with bust of Chhatrapati Shiva Ji Maharaja on stage
- Yesterday, Raj's rally in support of CAA was one more step in this direction

- His party is in desperation to make a comeback. He thinks, he has hit a golden opportunity. Will he succeed? Only time will tell!
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