The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena is a nationalist right wing Indian political party based in the state of Maharashtra and operates on the motto of “Sons of the Soil”.It was founded on 9 March 2006 in Mumbai by Raj Thackeray after he left the Shiv Sena party due to differences with his paternal cousin Uddhav Thackeray.
MNS won 13 assembly seats (out of 288) in the 2009 assembly elections,which was the first Maharashtra Legislative Assembly election that the party contested. In the most recent elections of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly 2019, MNS won only 1 seat.
The party was founded by Raj Thackeray, nephew of late Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray and grandson of Prabodhankar Thackeray. Raj Thackeray resigned from his uncle’s party in January 2006 and announced his intention to start a new political party. The reason given by him for breaking away from the Shiv Sena was that the latter was “run by petty clerks” because of which it had “fallen from its former glory”. Also, Thackeray declared his motive of building a political awareness for the development related issues of the state and giving them a center stage in national politics.
At the time of the party’s foundation, Raj Thackeray stated that he does not want to have hostilities with his uncle who “was, is and always will be (his) mentor”.
Although the MNS is a break-away group from the Shiv Sena, the party is still based on Marathi and Bhumiputra ideologies. When unveiling the party in an assembly at Shivaji Park he said, that everyone is anxious to see what will happen to Hindutva.When unveiling, he also said, “I shall elaborate on the party’s stance on issues like Sons of Soil and Marathi, its agenda for development of Maharashtra and the significance of the party flag colours at the March 19 public meeting.” Raj Thackeray considers himself an Indian nationalist.The party also recognises secularism as one of its core tenets.