A day after some Shiv Sainiks held a silent march demanding that the warring Thackeray cousins unite, their party’s executive president Uddhav Thackeray ruled out the possibility of him and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray coming together.
"Nobody should try to unite us. It will be a futile attempt," Uddhav said in an exclusive chat with Hindustan Times on Monday. "I have made it clear to Shiv Sainiks that they should start working and not indulge in such frivolous acts."
Some Sainiks had on Sunday marched from Raj’s residence, Krishna Kunj, at Shivaji Park to Uddhav’s home, Matoshree, at Bandra, demanding that the cousins reunite.
The march was held in view of the civic polls to be held in 2012. Some Sainiks fear that there will be a division of Marathi votes since the brothers were fighting for the same cause, that of the Marathi manoos.
"We fought the last civic election on our own and did well. This time too the Shiv Sena will fight on its own and win," Uddhav said. Uddhav also spoke about Mumbai struggling to deal with infrastructure problems, aware that the Sena's opponents will raise road and water issues in the elections. Uddhav said the civic body is falling short of funds and alleged that the state has been conniving into take away all the powers of the civic body.
"The argument that the taxes the civic body recovers should be used to improve infrastructure is not valid considering of every Re 1 we get as tax, 74 per cent goes towards paying salaries. This amount will go up to 86 per cent with the Sixth Pay Commission," Uddhav said. "This will leave us with only 14 per cent money to support the entire city, which is inadequate."
He added that the state government has also mooted a policy, which will empower it to overrule the civic body's decisions. "Moreover, there is a move to pass on the responsibility of roads, water to the MMRDA…then what is left for the civic body to do?"