Mumbai: Cynicism marks Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray`s decision to make all aspirants for the upcoming Mumbai civic elections sit for an examination here Sunday.
In an unprecedented move, Thackeray announced Nov 19 that all prospective MNS candidates must prove themselves worthy of any public office by appearing for and clearing an examination with flying colours.
However, the mood is not exactly gung ho in the party - for, many candidates eager for an MNS ticket have castigated the proposed examination moves, said a top party official, requesting anonymity.
"They have been lobbying very hard for some route to bypass the move. Such persons have pointed out that they have struggled and worked hard to bring the party to this critical position in state politics. They now find it strange to be made to sit for examinations," the office-bearer said.
Thackeray had also strictly warned partymen that "no influence" would be permitted to be exerted by those seeking party tickets - but the never-say-die hopefuls are now reportedly contacting his near and distant relatives to put forth their views in a positive light.
The examination plan has also scared off many opportunists in parties like the Shiv Sena, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), or even the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party, who were planning to do the classic "Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram" act jumping onto the MNS bandwagon if their respective parties denied them tickets.
Instead of the ticket hopefuls, it appears the MNS party is now suffering from examination blues and indications are that Thackeray`s proposal is likely to be re-examined, the office-bearer added.
"Moreover, many of the 227 corporation wards (seats) in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have now been reserved for women in different categories. There are many who want to nominate their wife or mother or sister for such seats, but such women are barely able to write their name properly, let alone write examinations," he explained.
Thackeray had said that writing the Dec 4 exam would be compulsory for those seeking an MNS ticket for the the BMC, Thane, Pune, Nashik and other major municipal corporation elections due in February 2012, and later even for the assembly elections.
Incidentally, Thackeray has convened a meeting of the prospective party candidates in Mumbai Tuesday evening to decide the future course of action.