Two days after Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray indirectly said that the Shiv Sena and the Raj Thackeray-led MNS should have come together politically for the Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park, Raj called on senior Thackeray at his Matoshree residence on Friday.
The three Thackerays, including Raj and Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, had a closed-door meeting that lasted for over an hour.
On Wednesday, the Sena chief virtually announced his retirement from public life and urged his followers to stand by his political heirs (son Uddhav and grandson Aditya) in a pre-recorded video.
In the same speech, he grieved the breaking up of the Sena into two factions after his nephew Raj left to form the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. If the two parties - both rooting for the Marathi manoos - came together, they could wipe out the Congress-NCP government, he hinted.
"Raj Thackeray went to visit his uncle, who has been ill for some time now. He was moved after hearing the Sena chief's speech. The three discussed personal issues related to health, and also exchanged notes on political issues," an MNS source said. This is the second time in October that Raj has met his uncle.
Rumours that the parties would come together have been floating since mid-July, when Raj personally drove cousin Uddhav from Lilavati Hospital to the latter's Bandra home after his by-pass surgery.
Raj has been a frequent visitor at Matoshree since, though he has always insisted that these were personal visits, ruling out the possibility of the parties coming together. However, a senior Sena leader said that Friday's meeting held significance, considering what Sena chief Bal Thackeray said at the Dussehra rally.
Political expert Surendra Jondhale feels that the issue of leadership will always be the bone of contention between the two cousins. "The speech clearly hinted that one of the ways the Sena could come to power was by joining hands with MNS. However, till then, Bal Thackeray has clearly told his Sainiks to be faithful to his son Uddhav and grandson Aditya, clearly indicating who he wants as his political heir," Jondhale said.