For the first time since he quit the Shiv Sena five years ago, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief, Raj Thackeray, publicly criticised his uncle and Sena chief, Bal Thackeray, at an election rally in Dombivli on Monday.
A bitter Raj responded to the remarks Thackeray, his mentor, had made against him during the Sena’s Dussehra rally on October 17. “I have grown up watching him. I learnt it from him,” Raj said, reacting to Thackeray’s statement that his nephew was copying his style. “My grandfather, Prabhodhankar Thackeray, and [writer] Acharya Atre spoke about the Marathi manoos. If you read Atre, you would think you are reading an editorial by Balasaheb. So why am I being accused of copying?”
Raj was in Dombivli to campaign for the October 31 Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) elections.
He brought details of the family feud out in the open when he rubbished his uncle’s claims of being unaware that Uddhav would be appointed the Sena’s executive president.
“He said I chose Uddhav to lead the Sena when I didn’t even have the authority to appoint a shakha pramukh,” Raj said. “Balasaheb always wanted his son to head the party and was worried I would stand in the way…” Raj even put a question to Thackeray publicly. “Let’s assume I did choose Uddhav, tell me if my decision was right or wrong.”
Labelling all those running the Sena “rascals”, Raj said: “Uddhav Thackeray was busy signing cheques and striking deals when we were fighting for the Marathi manoos.”