Uddhav Thackeray As Cousin Raj Thackeray Meets Amit Shah

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'Trying To Steal A Thackeray': Uddhav Thackeray As Cousin Meets Amit Shah

Mumbai:

The BJP has realised that only the Thackeray name gets votes in Maharashtra and so they are trying to “steal a Thackeray,” former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said today on the meeting between Raj Thackeray and Union minister Amit Shah. The MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) chief, who is also the estranged cousin of Mr Thackeray, was in Delhi today, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. He said he had been “called”.

Speaking at a gathering in Nanded district, Uddhav Thackeray said the BJP “knows very well that they don’t get votes in the name of PM Narendra Modi in Maharashtra… People vote here in the name of (Bal) Thackeray”.

“This realisation prompted the BJP to try to steal leaders from outside.  First, they stole the photo of Bal Thackeray, but it doesn’t matter,” he said, in what was seen as an arch reference to Eknath Shinde, who is partnering the BJP.  

Mr Thackeray’s Shiv Sena was split over what rebel leader Eknath Shinde — who subsequently became the Chief Minister of Maharashtra — called the legacy of party founder Bal Thackeray. The leader, who accused Mr Thackeray of deviating from the Hindutva ideology of Bal Thackeray, who was also his father, had later credited the BJP with masterminding the split.

“Today, they are trying to steal another Thackeray….take it. My people and I are enough,” Uddhav Thackeray then added, brushing off his cousin and the ultra slim niche appeal he has.

The MNS, formed in 2006 after the cousins parted ways and depending on the anti-outsiders plank, has made little headway politically. From 13 assembly seats in 2008, it is now down to a single seat, won in 2019.

Mr Thackeray, whose party is part of the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi and the INDIA bloc, also claimed even Christians and Muslims are comfortable with his brand of Hindutva.

“The image of Shiv Sena (undivided) was getting sullied when we were with the BJP. But since we severed ties with them, even members of Christian and Muslim communities are saying that they have no issues with our Hindutva ideology,” he added.

Senior MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar said the talks were “positive”. The MNS, it is learnt, wants three seats – South Mumbai, Shirdi and Nashik.

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