Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray and his estranged cousin Raj Thackeray, both attended the swearing-in ceremony of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday at Ahmedabad. However, both cousins were not seen together and sat a few metres apart.
Uddhav was accompanied by wife Rashmi and son Aditya, while Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj was with wife Sharmila and son Amit. Even during the ceremony, while Uddhav was seen talking to Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, Raj sat quietly.
During his visit to Ahmedabad, Uddhav was accompanied by secretary Milind Narwekar, Sena leader in Lok Sabha Anant Geete and senior Sena leader Subhash Desai.
On Tuesday, Raj had announced that he would attend the ceremony out of respect for Modi who had invited him as a special guest. However, the Sena camp had refused to comment on Uddhav’s plans.
Although the Sena has been an ally of BJP, the MNS chief has been quite vocal in his support about the development that Modi brought about in Gujarat. In the past, Raj has even toured Gujarat to get first-hand experience of the work.
However, the Sena, which had been a supporter of Modi during the Godhra riots, has started dissociating itself from him. In fact, late Sena chief Bal Thackeray wrote in his mouthpiece, Saamna, that Sushma Swaraj and not Modi was best suited to become prime minister.