A day after his nephew and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief, Raj Thackeray, bitterly criticised him at a public rally at Dombivli, Shiv Sena chief, Bal Thackeray, called Raj a “spoilt brat who had betrayed the family”.
He warned Raj of a wave of anger among his followers against him.
“I did not imagine even in my dreams that the child I carried in my arms will criticise me like this,” Thackeray said in a letter to the media on Tuesday. “He is accusing me of promoting a dynasty but he has conveniently forgotten that he too is a product of that.”
Raj had on Monday, for the first time since he quit the Sena four years ago, responded angrily to statements his uncle had made against him at the Sena’s Dussehra rally on October 17. “I will have to spank this brat, who has enjoyed our affection since childhood and has now turned against me,” Thackeray said.
During his Dombivli rally, Raj had asked Thackeray to answer whether his initiative to appoint Uddhav Thackeray as the Sena’s executive president was right.
Thackeray responded to this with a retort: “When this snotty boy did not have the authority to appoint an ordinary shakha pramukh, how can he claim to have appointed Uddhav as executive president?”
The 84-year-old said MNS workers were “rats”, who were with Raj only due to his past association with the Sena.
The Sena and the MNS are locked in a battle to woo the middle class Maharashtrian voters in Kalyan and Dombivli before the October 31 civic polls.
“Both the parties are fighting for the same vote bank and are passing through a critical phase,” said Prakash Bal, a veteran political commentator.
“Raj’s statement was necessary to save his credibility after being criticised by Bal Thackeray repeatedly for being a copycat.” The outcome of the Kalyan-Dombivli polls is likely to impact the 2012 civic polls in Mumbai.
Nilu Damle, veteran political analyst, said Raj was forced to retaliate against Thackeray to cater to the wishes of his party workers, who were unhappy with the Sena repeatedly attacking their boss.