Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Thursday unveiled a new party flag, and announced his son Amit Thackeray’s entry in politics, NDTV reported. The party held a day-long Maha Adhiveshan in Mumbai’s Goregaon suburb on the 94th birth anniversary of Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray.
The new party flag features Chhatrapati Shivaji’s “Raj Mudra” (royal seal) on a saffron base. The party’s earlier flag was saffron, blue and green. According to The Indian Express, the words on the flag translate to: “The glory of this seal of Shahaji’s son Shivaji will grow like the first day moon. It will be worshipped by the world and it will shine only for the well being of people.”
Raj Thackeray began the party summit by unveiling portraits of Balasaheb Thackeray, Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar, social reformer Prabodhankar Thackeray and Shivaji, Mumbai Mirror reported.
Amit Thackeray gave a short speech at the ceremony. “This is my first-ever address on a public platform in the past 14 years of the party and my 27 years,” he said. “I am truly overwhelmed. This would not have been possible without the guidance and encouragement of Raj-Saheb Thackeray.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party is keen to prop up the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena as a counter to the Shiv Sena, The Indian Express reported. The newspaper added that several BJP leaders, including former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, have held meetings with Raj Thackeray in the last few weeks.
In the Assembly elections in October, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena managed to win just one seat. Raj Thackeray had been one of the most prominent critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah during the Lok Sabha elections, which the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena did not contest.