Mumbai: When MNS chief Raj Thackeray comes for a three-day trip to the city this Tuesday, he will have a herculean task on his hands. The leader, who had caused ripples of curiosity across political corridors by asking aspiring candidates to appear for an eligibility test, will be interviewing around 480 wannabe corporators -- 160 per day -- who were shortlisted through a written examination held in November last year.
According to MNS sources Thackeray will shortlist 152 candidates for the upcoming PMC poll on January 10. The final list of candidates will be announced in two phases -- on January 17 and 22. Rajmahal, the leader's residence in Pune off Law College Road, will be the venue of the interview. Anil Shidore, General Secretary, MNS, said, "I had finalised the dates and venue after a long telephonic conversation with Raj on Sunday evening."
Sudhir Bhade, organising official, MNS, said, "Our aim is to save Raj Saab's time and let him conduct the interview at a single place. We had suggested Rajmahal as the venue for it and I have learnt that he has agreed for the same."
According to MNS sources, the interview is a Herculean task for the party workers, but Mr Thackery's physical presence has given them some relief. "After Mumbai, Raj is coming Pune to finalise the candidates. He will head for Nashik from here," said Ajay Sindhe, MNS deputy president, city.
The party workers were just awaiting a formal nod from MNS high commands in Mumbai. "These interviews will be for all 152 PMC seats. As his (Thackeray's) presence is likely to expedite the selection process, we may be announcing our final list prior to other political parties," he added.
NCP interviews too
NCP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar will interview around 645 aspiring candidates on January 11 and 12 at Nisarg Mangal Karyalaya, Market Yard, in the city.
Trip tenure: 3 days
Total number of interviewees: 480
Number of interviews per day: 160
Dates: January 10, 11 and 12
Timings: 10 am to 6 pm
Venue: Rajmahal, which is Raj Thackeray's residence off Law College Road