A new poster about the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s January 23 convention surfaced on Friday. Shared by Sandeep Deshpande, an office-bearer of the party, it marks a significant departure from its original agenda. The poster has a map of Maharashtra painted in saffron and it contains the following lines- ‘Thought about the ideology of Maharashtra, resolve to create a Hindavi Swaraj’. Hindavi Swaraj is considered by many as the ideal state established by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
With the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress in power currently, the MNS has emerged as one of the main opposition parties in Maharashtra. In a party meeting held in Pune recently, the MNS supremo was very critical of Shiv Sena's distancing itself from Hindutva, according to sources. The speculation of the party veering towards Hindutva gained momentum as MNS has reportedly discarded its current flag- which has three colours- saffron, green and blue. The new saffron flag with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s seal on it is expected to be unveiled very soon. Moreover, it is likely that Thackeray will make a formal announcement regarding the party's stance on January 23.
In a massive development on January 9, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis admitted that the BJP could consider an alliance with MNS in the future. Breaking his silence after his secret meeting with Thackeray, Fadnavis added a caveat that the MNS would have to bring about changes in its ideology and way of functioning. Fadnavis also clarified that there was no discussion of immediately forging an alliance in the meeting. However, sources reveal that Thackeray has decided to extend support to the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens. The rumours about an alliance come only a few months after Raj Thackeray openly campaigned against BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, drawing massive crowds.