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‘MNS a carbon copy of Sena’

Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Wednesday strongly hit out at nephew Raj Thackeray and his Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.

mumbai Updated: Apr 29, 2010 02:08 IST
HT Correspondent

Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Wednesday strongly hit out at nephew Raj Thackeray and his Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.

Without naming Raj or his party, Thackeray called it a “carbon copy” of the Shiv Sena and accused the nephew of using the Shiv Sena’s agenda to promote the outfit.

“A lot of duplicates have come up... maybe with my blessings. They copy whatever I say. That is their agenda. They look like a carbon copy of the Shiv Sena. I had said in my speech at the first public rally of the Sena on October 22, 1966, that there should be a permit system to stop hordes of migrants coming into Mumbai,” Thackeray said in the first of a three-part interview in Sena mouthpiece Saamna.

The interview is in the run-up to completion of 50 years of Maharashtra.

Thackeray also blasted former Prime Minister Morarji Desai for his orders to fire on agitators demanding a Samyukta (united) Maharashtra. “It was Gandhiji’s fortune that he did not meet Morarji, or else he would have committed suicide before Godse killed him.”

Criticising the use of abbreviations for names of public buildings, Thackeray said Marathi-speaking people should not refer to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus as CST. “Call it by its full name,” he said. He also gave the example of Lokmanya Tilak Marg police station, which was referred to as LT Marg on nameplates and mentioned how he had got the police to change it.

Thackeray said the Sena had wanted to name VT station after Nana Jagannath Shankarsheth, a Marathi businessman and one of the directors of India’s first railway company. But the Congress was in a hurry and gave Chhatrapati Shivaji’s name to the station. “This is what happens when one does not know history and facts,” he said.

‘Cricketers should head IPL’

Thackeray asked why noted cricketers like Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri or Ajit Wadekar had not been considered as replacements for ousted IPL commissioner Lalit Modi.

He questioned the logic behind his old friend Sharad Pawar making Modi IPL chief despite his “shady past.”

“Modi has been replaced by another big industrialist... BCCI chief Shashank Manohar should be asked why names of Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri or Ajit Wadekar were not considered for the post,” an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece Saamna said.

“Pawar is a minister in the Union Cabinet, and his party rules Maharashtra. Despite having police and intelligence agencies at their disposal, did they fail to know the shady past of Modi?” he said, adding the BCCI could have suspended Modi much earlier.