Mumbai: Now all aspiring political leaders for the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) will have to prove their mettle by passing exams with flying colours.
Aiming to set a trend and do something unprecedented, the MNS chief Saturday said the party would conduct a written exam to select its candidates for the upcoming Mumbai civic polls in February.
"Eligible candidates who clear the exam would be given tickets to contest the elections," Thackeray said at an internal party meet here.
The two-hour exam scheduled Dec 4 will be compulsory for those who aspire to contest the polls and also the existing corporators and legislators who wish to re-contest for the seats in their or other constituencies.
Apart from the Mumbai`s Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the test will be conducted for civic bodies of other towns, including Thane, Pune, Nashik and Nagpur, due for polls early next year.
The BMC has as many as 227 wards and many MNS candidates are likely to contest the polls from each ward.
Thackeray said the exam is important and would check the candidates` knowledge through questions related to various aspects of the civic administration.
Emphasising that conventional methods of choosing candidates must change, he said this exercise would set a new trend and change people`s perception.
A panel of independent examiners will be in charge of the examination.
Thackeray said those who clear the exams would be interviewed personally by him and that no influence or muscle power will help the candidates get a ticket if they do not perform well in the test.
"If required, I will also sit for the exam and another independent panel of examiners will evaluate my performance," he said.
Similar exams will also be conducted for assembly elections and a candidate can appear for the test only from one constituency -- either from where he belongs to or intends to contest the polls from.