He stepped out of a Mercedes Benz, his son helping him walk as he entered the Shiv Sena Bhavan after three years amidst the bursting of crackers, battling a frenzied crowd and even causing a mild lathi charge.
Sena chief Bal Thackeray, who is largely confined to his home due to ill health, made a rare public appearance at his
party’s headquarters to address the Sena’s victorious legislators on Thursday.
He told the MLAs that they were the face of the Sena in the legislature and that they should re-establish the party’s network among the electorate. He also said he would also personally hold a meeting with all those Sena candidates who had lost the elections.
“One does not get victory until one tastes defeat,” said the 84-year-old who was accompanied by his son and party Executive President, Uddhav Thackeray.
“I have seen a large number of high and low tides, but the moon is always stable. The party will not be dejected by such losses but only surge ahead.”
Thackeray also disassociated himself from an editorial in the party’s mouthpiece Saamna, in which he had said that the “Marathi manoos had backstabbed him”.
Thackeray clarified that he only said that the Marathi manoos had turned his back on the Sena.
Thackeray took the opportunity to lash out at rebels like Narayan Rane and Sada Sarwankar.
He said their exit did not make a difference to the party and everyone can see how badly they are being treated now. “Those who want to go away, please quit,” he said. “A bear has lots of hair on his body and one or two of them going away never make a difference.”