Ridiculing the allegations that he has been kept under house arrest by his son and party executive president Uddhav Thackeray at his own residence, Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray has insisted that he is very much free man.
Ahead of the civic elections in which Sena will be facing an acid test, Thackeray senior has replied to the allegations that are being levelled against his son Uddhav and his party, in a marathon interview to party mouthpiece, Saamna.
"Allegations of me being house arrest are politically motivated. I am very much free and can go wherever I want to go,”Thackeray insisted in the interview which appeared on Saturday.
He also denied that he has been under pressure from son Uddhav to take decisions regarding organisation in his favour — an allegation which has been repeatedly made by his nephew Raj Thackeray and Revenue Minister Narayan Rane both of whom quit Sena following power tussle with Uddhav.
In fact, Thackeray has flayed Raj and Rane alleging that they became turncoats even after earning fortunes in the Sena.
The 80 year old Sena Chief who has not been keeping well these days also made it clear that age was catching up with him. “But I am young in mind,” he insisted.
The Sena’s hold over city’s civic body is under threat following two successive splits. Losing an election would mean further trouble for Thackeray’s party.
However, the Sena Chief categorically said that his party was not facing a battle for survival.