The much-publicised campaign—Thackeray Jodo Andolan - to unite the warring Thackeray brothers by some Shiv Sena activists will end on Sunday because of a lack of response from both sides.
Satish Valunje, who initiated the movement, said the Sunday rally will mark the end of his eight-month-old campaign to unite Uddhav and Raj Thackeray. “When we began the movement, we announced a time frame and now it is coming to an end,” said Valunje.
He said he may even close the website. “I neglected my businesses for the last one year. But now I have to move on,” said Valunje who is associated with the biotech industry. He is positive the estranged brothers will be forced to unite one day.
Shaken by the 2008 electoral debacles in both the parliamentary and assembly polls, where the Shiv Sena was mauled because of the splitting of votes by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), a group of old Sena cadres began the campaign.
However they did not meet with much success, as was evident last year during the September walkathon, which was a damp squib.
While Raj was not in the city, Uddhav met the activists but admonished them for creating confusion in the party. Political commentators called the initiative unrealistic.
“The dispute between the two is over power and cannot be bridged by such efforts,” said Prakash Bal, political analyst.
Leaders of both parties dismissed the issue. “We were not interested in this initiative from the beginning,” said Shirish Parker, MNS spokesperson.
“I have no comments to offer on this as my leader (Uddhav Thackeray) has made his stance clear in the past,” said Neelam Gorhe, Sena legislator.