Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray has said the war of words between him and his cousin and Shiv Sena executive president, Uddhav Thackeray, will continue but he will keep uncle, Bal Thackeray, out of it.
“But I don’t know what will come next. I don’t prepare my speech… it just comes to me when I start speaking,” Raj told the Hindustan Times on Thursday afternoon as he took a break from the hectic campaigning for the October 31 elections to the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC).
Seated in an apartment in Dombivli where he supervises the campaign from, Raj said the statements he made at the Dombivli rally earlier this week were deliberate.
“A few things have been on my mind for many days. I let them out that day because I wanted to tell them [Thackeray and Uddhav] that there was no point in talking about the past,” Raj said.
Raj's reaction to his uncle's past comments on him came as a surprise to many because this was the first time in five years that Raj had lashed out at Thackeray.
Raj’s outburst against his uncle evoked strong reactions from Sena leaders. While Thackeray condemned him, Uddhav warned him against repeating the verbal attack on his father.
Raj denied having insulted Thackeray. “I cannot insult him [Thackeray],” Raj said. “I just wanted to ask a few questions and expected them to reply. Instead of giving me an apt response, which the voters also wanted, they chose to say something very personal.”
Raj has fielded candidates in all 107 seats making it a triangular fight between the MNS, the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance and the saffron combine.
Raj, whose rallies have managed to attract huge crowds, is confident of victory. He said Uddhav did not have any agenda for development. “Show me one sign of development here in Kalyan-Dombivli, or Thane and Mumbai where the Sena has been in power for two decades. I have offered voters an option,” Raj said.
He sees the KDMC polls as a rehearsal for the 2012 Mumbai and Thane civic polls. “I hope people give me a majority in Kalyan-Dombivli so I can implement my agenda of giving people better living conditions,” Raj said. “We will replicate this in Mumbai and Thane.”
Raj said his 13 legislators could pressurise the state government to get things done in KDMC, Mumbai and Thane. “We have our plans for the metropolitan region ready. We will ensure that the hardworking tax-payers get their long-pending dues.”