Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray created ripples in political circles on Sunday when he had a prolonged meeting with his ailing uncle and Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray.
Both sides said the one-hour meeting was a family affair and a non-political event.
Raj visited the elder Thackeray’s Bandra residence Matoshree in the afternoon. The meeting raised eyebrows because the MNS chief has met his uncle only a few times in the last two years — ever since he broke away from the family to form his own party.
While speculations started doing rounds, both parties claimed that the meeting was not political. “I met my uncle to give him some books. It just happened; nothing was decided in advance,” Raj told media persons after the meeting. “I’m happy that he’s keeping good health.”
Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said it was a family reunion and there was no need to read too much into it.
A source from Matoshree confirmed that the Sena chief made his son and Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray forget his political rivalry with Raj and attend the reunion.
Raj said his uncle had spoken to him over phone after he was released from the Kalyan police lock-up last month. “He asked me how was the place (lock-up) like and narrated similar incidents that happened to him in the past…”
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief spent a night in the Kalyan police lock-up after being arrested on October 21. Raj, who is accused in several cases of political violence, faces legal cases not only in Maharashtra but Jharkhand as well. He is expected to appear before the Jamshedpur court as the upper court has denied him bail.