Seeking to strike an emotional note at the first annual Dussehra rally of Shiv Sena after the death of its founder Bal Thackeray, party president Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said he was ready to quit if the cadre had no faith in him.
"If you feel that I have lost your confidence, then I will step down. I am ready to leave this stage," Uddhav said.
Though he did not mention it, his statement came against the backdrop of indirect criticism of his relatively mild style of leadership by the veteran Sena leader Manohar Joshi earlier this week.
Incidentally, Joshi, who was present on the dais on Sunday, had to leave before the main function began when party workers shouted slogans against him.
Targeting NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Uddhav said in his speech that the latter was still nursing his prime ministerial ambitions.
"Pawar criticised (Narendra) Modi after he was named BJP's prime ministerial nominee. But what about Pawar who himself has not shed the aspiration of becoming the Prime Minister?" Uddahav asked.
The Sena president also claimed that before nominating Modi as BJP's candidate, Rajnath Singh had called him and sought his assent. "I told him (Singh) that Shiv Sena strongly supports BJP and Modi," Uddhav added.
He also criticised Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan for government's failure to arrest the killers of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar.