Mumbai, Jan 23 (IANS) On the political fringes since the past over 13 years of its existence, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has consciously turned into a new leaf with a new flag, symbol, ideological direction and a new future leader, here on Thursday.
MNS President Raj Thackeray unveiled the party’s new flag in a rich saffron hue with the symbol of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Royal Seal as its symbol, at the party’s first mega-convention held at NSE Grounds, Goregaon.
The party also turned right with the garlanded pictures of Vinayak Damodar alias Veer Savarkar along with his grandfather Prabodhankar Thackeray, Savitribai Phule and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, marking the 94th anniversary of Raj Thackeray’s uncle and founder-patriarch of Shiv Sena, the late Balasaheb Thackeray.
The Royal Seal (translated from Sanskrit) reads:
Ever-Increasing Like The Crescent Moon, The Kingdom Of Shivaji, The Son Of Shahaji, Will always seek the welfare of the people
Barely had the new flag started fluttering in the sunny, mildly cool winter breeze, a storm of protests erupted from the Sambhaji Brigade, Maratha Kranti Morcha and others who called upon Raj Thackeray to refrain from exploiting the Royal Seal for political purposes.
While Sambhaji Brigade lodged a complaint with the Pune Police, the Maratha Kranti Morcha has threatened to drag the MNS to court on the issue.
On the momentous occasion, Raj Thackeray formally anointed his son, Amit Thackeray as a ‘Leader’ of MNS, paving the way for another member of the state’s numero uno Thackeray clan’s gen-next to enter politics.
A new controversy erupted as senior MNS leaders also proclaimed Raj Thackeray as the new ‘Hindu Hridaysamrat’ (Emperor of Hindu Hearts), a term usually reserved for his uncle and Shiv Sena founder, the late Bal Thackeray.
The development came amid changed political permutations and combinations after the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress joined hands to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government headed by Uddhav Thackeray, Raj Thackeray’s estranged cousin.
Hitting back, senior Sena leader Anil Parab and others said that only the late Balasaheb Thackeray is the ‘Hindu Hridaysamrat’ and nobody else can claim his ‘illustrious legacy’, but declined to comment if his nephew Raj Thackeray was attempting to ‘hijack’ the title.