Raj Thackeray in dilemma over picking candidates

test sharma | Updated: January 27, 2012, 5:32 PM IST

Mumbai: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Friday said he was in a dilemma over selecting party candidates for the 27 Zilla Parishads and the nine major civic corporations which go to polls on February 7 and February 16 respectively in the state.

"The biggest question before me is: Whom to give tickets to and whom to reject?" Raj said at a meeting of MNS hopefuls for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, the nominations for which will open next week.

"We shall give priority to office-bearers and senior leaders for the party tickets. Those who do not figure in the list, I shall beg for their forgiveness," he said with his hands folded, as the gathering roared its approval.

As per present indications, the MNS plans to contest all the seats in the BMC and also test waters in other important municipal corporations like Thane, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nashik and Nagpur.

A party office-bearer said MNS offices across the state "were flooded" with applications from hopeful candidates who feel they can live up to Raj's expectations.

"Of course, only those who have successfully cleared the pre-election qualification tests conducted last month will be finally eligible, but it is still a mammoth task," the office-bearer said, preferring anonymity.

Aware that hopefuls rejected by the party could rebel, Raj announced: "I will sincerely regret it, but I am not scared about any rebels or defectors. We will do our job."

In the same vein, he said that the first list of MNS candidates for the BMC polls, which was postponed once earlier this week and also Friday, would be declared only in the next couple of days.

First Published: January 27, 2012, 5:32 PM IST

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