Raj Thackeray throws wet blanket on reunion with Uddhav


PUNE: A day after the two cousins met at Balasaheb Thackeray’s memorial in Shivaji Park and fuelled speculations about a rapprochement, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena president Raj Thackeray said on Tuesday that he has not given any thought to a reunion with his cousin.

There has been speculation that the estranged cousins may join hands after they were seen seated together at Shivaji Park in Mumbai on Bal Thackeray’s second death anniversary on Monday.

“This (a reunion) is an emotional issue. I obviously respect such sentiments. However, some things don’t happen immediately,” he told reporters in Pune.

On going to Shivaji Park to pay his respects to his uncle, he said, “Let me clarify that last year I avoided going there (Shivaji Park) because I had to deal with some situation. But what is wrong in going there? I met Uddhav, but don’t read much into it. There were no political discussions.”

He added that Uddhav had visited his daughter Urvashi in hospital after she was injured in an accident, recently which had sparked speculations. “Hospitals and memorials are not places to discuss politics. If we wanted to discuss politics why would we do it at these places?” he asked, reiterating that his visit to Shivaji Park was just to pay respect to Bal Thackeray.

Raj spent nearly 20 minutes with Uddhav after offering prayers at the memorial. The cousins were seen in conversation, with Sena leader Sanjay Raut seated next to Raj. The MNS chief’s presence had triggered excitement among Shiv Sainiks, who raised slogans likening the two Thackerays to tigers. It had also set the social media abuzz.

On relations between BJP and Sena, Raj said, “BJP will play its politics; it is the Sena which has to take a decision. However, it is between two parties and I can’t say what they must do.”

Expressing unhappiness over the BJP government’s decision to opt for a voice vote to prove its majority in the House,

He added the BJP government had created confusion about its majority.

“I fail to understand who is ruling and who is in the opposition. This is an unprecedented situation in the state. A voice vote is not an appropriate method to prove majority. Nobody understood what happened on that day (when the government proved its majority). These situations encourage horse trading,” said Raj.

The MNS would be restructured and he would “rectify” mistakes, he added.

Raj also sought to put to rest the origins of a defamatory tweet about BR Ambedkar linked to his daughter Urvashi. He said she had no twitter account.