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Even 'Katappa' had self-respect: CM Eknath Shinde responds to Uddhav Thackeray, says 'our rebellion was to save Shiv Sena'

Questioning Uddhav Thackeray's style of working, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde asked how many times he visited Mantralaya, when he was the chief minister (November 2019-June 2022), adding that although the Chief Minister hailed from the Shiv Sena, it was the NCP which ran the show in the previous dispensation.

  • Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray's attacked Chief Minister Eknath Shinde for becoming 'Katappa'
  • Eknath Shinde defended his rebellion against the Shiv Sena leadership, terming it as not `treachery but an `uprising'
  • He proclaimed himself as the real `inheritor of late Balasaheb Thackeray's political legacy

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Even 'Katappa' had self-respect: CM Eknath Shinde responds to Uddhav Thackeray, says 'our rebellion was to save Shiv Sena'

Mumbai: In response to Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray's harsh attack that Chief Minister Eknath Shinde became 'Katappa' and betrayed him, the latter defended his rebellion against the Shiv Sena leadership, terming it as not `treachery but an `uprising' to save the party, and proclaimed himself as the real `inheritor of late Balasaheb Thackerays political legacy while addressing a mega rally at the Bandra Kurla Complex's MMRDA ground on the occasion of Dussehra.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said, "They call me 'Katappa'. I want to tell you, that even 'Katappa' had self-respect, was not double standard like you."

This was in the wake of Uddhav Thackeray's attack on him saying, "The only thing I feel bad and angry about is that when I was admitted to the hospital, the people whom I gave the responsibility (of the state) became 'Katappa' and betrayed us... They were cutting me and thinking that I will never return from hospital."

Maharashtra Chief Minister was peeved over Thackeray's remark and asserted that his rebellion was not an act of "betrayal", but a "revolt" and asked Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to kneel down at party founder Bal Thackeray's memorial and apologise for going against his ideals and aligning with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). 

Questioning Uddhav Thackeray's style of working, Shinde asked how many times he visited Mantralaya, the state secretariat in south Mumbai, when he was the chief minister (November 2019-June 2022), claiming that administrative works came to a virtual standstill in the two-and-a-half years of the MVA government led by Uddhav Thackeray. He added that although the chief minister hailed from the Shiv Sena, it was the NCP which ran the show in the previous dispensation.

Shinde further said, "Balasaheb used to run the government through his remote control, but Thackeray gave the remote control to the NCP and danced to the NCP's tunes." 

Also read: 'Shiv Sena is not your private company': Eknath Shinde

Shinde said voters in the state elected the Shiv Sena and the BJP in the 2019 Assembly elections, but Thackeray "betrayed" people by joining hands with the Congress and the NCP to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, adding "We did not do 'gaddari' (betrayal), but this (rebellion) was 'gadar' (revolt). We are not 'gaddar' (traitors), but soldiers of Balasaheb (Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray). You sold Balasaheb principles. Who are real traitors who betrayed Hindutva for the sake of power?"

Also read: Uddhav Thackeray calls Eknath Shinde ‘TRAITOR' at mega Shiv Sena rally

In a speech that lasted for over an hour and a half, Shinde said, "We took this step (rebellion) to save the Shiv Sena, preserve the principles of Balasaheb, Hindutva and for the betterment of Maharashtra. And we took it publicly," adding that he has been getting an overwhelming response for the decision. 

In a scathing attack at his political rival, he asked, "Do you (Uddhav Thackeray) even have the right to occupy the post (of Shiv Sena chief) after compromising on the principles of Bal Thackeray." He stated that massive crowds at his Dussehra rally was proof enough to show who are true inheritors of Bal Thackeray's legacy. 

Shinde said being the chief minister, he could have intervened to get the Shivaji Park ground for his camp to hold the Dusshera rally, but avoided doing so to maintain law and order, adding "Even if you have got the (Shivaji Park) ground, we have the principles of Shiv Sena pramukh (late Bal Thackeray)."

Notably, the Thackeray-led faction had approached the Bombay High Court last month to hold its rally at Shivaji Park after the Mumbai civic body denied it permission to use the iconic ground in Dadar for its Dussehra event. 

Slamming Thackeray, Shinde said the Shiv Sena was not a private limited company and maintained the 56-year-old outfit was built through hard work of common Sena workers, adding that Thackeray never went beyond "hum do hamare do", a reference to his sons Aaditya and Tejas Thackeray. 

The rally was attended by Jaidev Thackeray, brother of Uddhav Thackeray, and his estranged wife Smita Thackeray. Nihar Thackeray, grandson of late Bal Thackeray and son of Bindumadhav, also attended the rally besides Champa Singh Thapa, a long-time personal aide of the Sena founder. Uddhav Thackeray reportedly shares an uneasy relationship with Jaidev, Smita and Nihar Thackeray. 

A vacant chair used by Bal Thackeray during his last rally in Thane was placed at the centre of the stage at the sprawling ground in BKC, located close to Matoshree', the private residence of the Thackeray family in suburban Bandra. 

Shinde asked why a decision of Shiv Sena MLAs tendering their resignation was not taken when the party chose to align with the Congress and the Sharad Pawar-led NCP in 2019. He was responding to Aaditya Thackeray's challenge that rebel MLAs should resign and face re-election. 

(With PTI Inputs)

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