The much-hyped 'Thackeray Jodo Andolan' —an eight-month-long effort aimed at uniting the warring Thackeray cousins, Raj and Uddhav — has proved to be a damp squib.
There was not even a hint of a truce between the estranged duo as the campaign ended on Sunday, Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray’s 84th birthday, with hardly 300 people attending the final session.
The movement had started following a growing demand at the grassroots that Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray bury their differences and start working together for the 2012 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation polls.
The Shiv Sena has suffered electorally — specially in the 2009 parliamentary and assembly polls that followed — due to Raj’s quitting the party in 2006 following differences with Uddhav. He went on to establish the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.
The organisers, who had expected the support of thousands of people at the final session, were disappointed.
“There is apathy among our people and the fact that we could not publicise (the movement) due to paucity of funds resulted in the low turnout,” said Saish Valunje, the brains behind the initiative. Both Raj and Uddhav have ridiculed the effort in the past.