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Bal Thackeray to address rallies before civic polls
December 20, 2006 15:27 IST
Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray will address at least three rallies in the run-up to civic polls, despite hints that he would no longer participate in active politics, party sources said on Wednesday.
"Balasaheb will address at least three rallies in the run -up to the civic polls. Though the dates and exact details are not yet certain, we recognise that his charisma will be needed to woo voters," a Sena source said.
Last year, Thackeray had announced he would no longer address public rallies on a regular basis or during election campaigns as he was 'tired'.
The reins of the party, he had said, would rest with his son and executive president Uddhav.
Since then, however, the party has been hit hard by the exit of one of its most visible faces -- Thackeray's protege Raj Thackeray -- thus weakening it considerably.
The party has suffered defeats in by-polls and recent elections to municipal councils, and the race for Mumbai's municipal corporation is seen as crucial to its survival in the state's political landscape.
Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena is expected to grab a considerable portion of traditional Sena votes.
These factors have led to Thackeray coming out to boost his party's chances of retaining power in one of the country's richest civic bodies. Election to the municipal corporation are to be held on February 1.