Amid the ongoing political turmoil in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday approached the office bearers of Shiv Sena and sought to allay the apprehensions about the existence of his party and the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the state. Thackeray claimed that he did everything for rebel leader Eknath Shinde and his son Shrikant Shinde, who is a Shiv Sena MP from the Lok Sabha.
Later sending a message to the rebel MLAs through a recorded video, Shiv Sena President Thackeray said that he has not given up the fight yet and he cannot run the party without Thackeray.
Shiv Sena is witnessing revolt within the party after Shiv Sena leader Shinde split and formed a rebel group with the support of several MLAs. Shinde is currently camping in Guwahati, the capital of Assam, along with at least 38 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs and 10 independents. He has claimed that the faction led by him is the “real Shiv Sena”.
In his virtual address to the party’s district unit chiefs and ‘Sampark Pramukhs’ at Shiv Sena Bhawan in central Mumbai’s Dadar, Thackeray said he has vacated ‘Varsha’, the CM’s official residence, but he has “determination”.
According to reports, Thackeray told the office bearers during the meeting that he was “not greedy for power”. Those who used to say we will die but will never leave Shiv Sena, fled today. The rebel MLAs who want to break Shiv Sena, if they have guts, then they should go among the people without taking the names of Balasaheb and Shiv Sena.
Thackeray said that in the last two and a half years, he fought the Kovid-19 epidemic along with his ill health, but the opponents took advantage of this situation. “I had a pain in my neck and head, I couldn’t function properly, I couldn’t open my eyes but I didn’t care. Shivaji Maharaj lost but people were always with him,” sources told news agency ANI, quoting Thackeray at the meeting.
“Eknath Shinde’s son is a Shiv Sena MP, I did everything for him. The portfolio I had was given to Shinde. But he is making many allegations against me. I did everything for Eknath Shinde,” said sources.
Later, in a recorded video, Thackeray said that he “has not given up fighting yet” and that “Thackeray and Shiv Sena are one, you cannot run Shiv Sena without Thackeray.”
He further said that anyone in the party is free to go. He said, ‘You want to take my MLAs… You can take flowers and fruits but not roots. As long as the tree is intact, I don’t worry. Some say let’s go with BJP. OK agreed. But the way my family and I were attacked through words. Your blood was not boiling seeing how they attacked Matoshree,” he said.
(with inputs from PTI)