Ahead of 62nd birthday, Uddhav Thackeray says 'this time he does not want bouquets, but...'
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that unlike previous rebellions in Shiv Sena, the revolt this time was aimed at "finishing off" the Sena.
Mumbai: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has said unlike previous rebellions in the party, the revolt this time was aimed at "finishing off" the Sena. The Sena indulges in politics for Hindutva, whereas the BJP uses Hindutva for its political interests, Thackeray claimed while addressing the Sena workers on Sunday after inaugurating a ward-level party office in south Mumbai.
Last month, Sena MLA Eknath Shinde and 39 other legislators revolted against the party leadership, leading to the collapse of the Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government. Shinde was on June 30 sworn in as the chief minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis as the deputy CM.
"Unlike the earlier rebellions, this coup is to finish off the Shiv Sena forever. They have hired professional agencies to counter us. This is a battle between money and loyalty," Thackeray said.
Thackeray, who will turn 62 on July 27, said this time he does not want bouquets on his birthday, but affidavits from the Sena workers that they trust the party and more and more registrations of people as party members.
"The battle is now also taken to the Election Commission of India, claiming they are the original Shiv Sena. We need not just vigour, but staunch support and registration of people as party members," Thackeray said.
Uddhav's indirect attack on cousin Raj Thackeray
The former chief minister, without taking any name, targeted his cousin and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) head Raj Thackeray, who had reportedly said he would consider allowing the 40 Sena rebel MLAs to merge into his party if needed.
"I know there is an offer made to these people. I do not know what type of 'chemical locha' (imbalance) is this, but these people have no idea whom they have messed up with," Uddhav Thackeray said.
'I do not know what to call you': Uddhav Thackeray to Shiv Sena rebel MLAs
Referring to the rebel MLAs, he said, "I do not know what to call you." To this, the crowd shouted "traitors".
The Sena chief then said, "This is the stamp on their head and they will have to carry it with them wherever they go. They have earned it by their own actions. Despite being representatives of people, they are moving around with protection from the central government."
"The Sena turned ordinary people into extra-ordinary" and that is how these 40 (rebel) MLAs won the election. Now it is time to repeat it with a new set of Shiv Sena workers, he said.
Uddhav Thackeray didn't give 'enough time' to Shiv Sena MLAs: Rebel legislator
Rebel Shiv Sena MLA Gulabrao Patil on Sunday said party president Uddhav Thackeray did not give enough time to the party legislators during his tenure as Maharashtra chief minister. The former minister also said that Thackeray should get rid of the coterie of party leaders around him.
"A 'sarpanch' (elected village head) ought to give audience to every elected representative of the local governing body. When Thackeray was just the party head, we could raise our complaints against a minister if he or she did not cooperate," Patil told a regional news channel.
"But after he became the chief minister, there was no one whom we could turn to for taking up our complaints of works not getting done. He should have given enough audience to the legislators," he said.
Some leaders surrounding Uddhav Thackeray are damaging Shiv Sena
Several rebel Sena leaders have earlier blamed party's chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut for the strain in ties between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Sena.
But without taking anyone's name, Patil said, "There are some leaders surrounding Thackeray, who are damaging Shiv Sena further. Because of these leaders, people like us suffer...We were made to wait for hours. We are elected representatives who have won elections with the support of nearly three lakh voters, and still, we get such disrespectful treatment."
"Many people who are in the inner circle of Thackeray, have never won an election. But they never treated us with respect," he said.
Patil is among the 40 Sena MLAs who rebelled against the party leadership.