Mumbai, Jan 29: MNS chief Raj Thackeray today announced the first list of party's candidates for Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Nashik municipal corporation elections, saying that his focus was to come to power.
Addressing a press conference, Raj said the lists for Nagpur, Solapur, Amravati, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Ulhasnagar and Akola would be declared at the local level. He released the list of 208 candidates out of 227 in Mumbai, 138 out of the 152 wards in Pune, 115 out of 122 in Nashik and 115 out of 130 in Thane.
MNS had held a written examination and interviews for selecting the candidates. Raj said he would be releasing the mark-sheets of selected candidates. “My apologies to all those who could not be accommodated,” he said.
When asked about his strategy for Mumbai polls and if he would extend support to any other party if MNS was offered the mayor's post, Raj said, “I will select my party's mayor for myself and not others,” without clarifying whether he would enter into any alliance post-election.
To a question who was he focusing on as the main rival— Congress-NCP or Sena-BJP-RPI, Raj said his focus was on capturing the municipal corporations. As to whether MNS would contest Zilla Parishad and panchayat samiti elections, he answered in negative.
Condemning the attack on Times of India building by Shiv Sena workers yesterday, Raj said it reflected a “defeated mindset”.
Without naming Shiv Sena and its mouthpiece ‘Saamna', Raj said, “They can abuse anybody in their newspaper. But (they expect) nobody should write anything against them. How is that possible?”
To a question on Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar's statement that he did not intend to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Raj said, “If I remember correctly, he had made a similar statement before the 2009 elections. He then contested from Madha and not (his traditional seat) Baramati.”