Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Monday announced the formation of a 'Shadow Cabinet' which will keep an eye on the working of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. At the 14th foundation day anniversary at Navi Mumbai, Thackeray announced the names of the leaders who will be a part of the cabinet. Their jobs will be to expose the shortcomings of the government, as announced on the day he had launched his party's new symbol.
Raj Thackeray's son Amit Thackeray has been entrusted with the responsibility of keeping a watch on the Tourism Ministry which is being managed by Uddhav Thackeray's son Aaditya Thackeray. Amit will also 'guard' many other ministries which include Rural development, Language ministry, Forest department etc. Shalini Thackeray - a relative of the MNS chief - will be keeping an eye on the Women and Child Development ministry.
Raj Thackeray's close aide Bala Nandgaonkar will keep a watch on the state Home Ministry headed by NCP's Anil Deshmukh. Nitin Sardesai will keep tabs on Finance and Housing. Speaking at the event, Raj Thackeray also thanked the people who stood by him and his party despite the ups and downs it faced since the formation of the MNS in 2006.
"There are many who get surprised by how people stand with Raj Thackeray. The causes and agitations that MNS has spear-headed, no other political party has in the last decade. We also gave the results through them," said Raj Thackeray. Thackeray said that there are several things that he wants to speak on and he will do so on the occasion of Gudi Padwa.
In January, Raj Thackeray had launched a new party flag. The new saffron-coloured flag of the party features Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's Raj Mudra, the royal seal of the Maratha king. Recently, Raj Thackeray himself as the new entrant in the Hindutva space. He extended his support to the new citizenship law and the proposed National Register of Citizens even as he demanded the eviction of illegal Pakistani and Bangladeshi "infiltrators" from India.
Addressing a gathering of thousands of MNS activists in Mumbai in February, Thackeray warned of a "befitting reply" to rallies being held against the CAA and the NRC, and said, "a morcha will be answered with a morcha, a stone with a stone and a sword with a sword".