Shiv Sainik to lead the country in future: Uddhav Thackeray on Sena foundation ...

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Maharashtra chief minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Friday told senior party leaders and office-bearers, that the ideology of the party has not changed. He added that he decided to take up the chief minister’s position to show that neither the Shiv Sena nor its chief was “helpless” in the alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Thackeray made the statements during an interaction through a digital platform with party MPs, leaders and functionaries on the occasion of the 54th foundation day of the Sena.

This is his first formal interaction with party leaders after becoming the chief minister of Maharashtra.

“Shiv Sena has not changed its ideology,” Thackeray told party functionaries answering criticism that Sena had abandoned Hindutva after it joined hands with secular parties Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to form the government in November 2019.

He also added that he went to Shivneri Fort, the birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji, and Ekveera temple, the family deity of the Thackerays. “I took the soil from Shivneri to Ram Janmabhoomi (Ayodhya) and within a year a decision was announced on the Ram Temple case, and later, I became the chief minister.”

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In an indirect jibe at the BJP, Thackeray said, “I am sitting here as the chief minister because there was an attempt to play politics with us and we foiled it… Trusting isn’t our weakness but it’s our culture. Shiv Sena is not helpless, nor is the Shiv Sena chief,” he said.

Nearly seven months after Thackeray took over as the CM, Shiv Sena is now eyeing the prime minister’s post in the future. Thackeray said that a Shiv Sainik would lead the country in the future.

“[Senior Sena leader and MP] Sanjay Raut told Uddhav ji that we are now looking at him to lead the country. He responded saying that he would not, but a Shiv Sainik would lead the country in future,” Sena MP Anil Desai said.

Incidentally, Thackeray had taken a similar stance for the position of Maharashtra’s chief minister before political compulsions led to him taking over the reins of the state government.

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The Sena chief also looked to bridge the alleged distance between him and party functionaries as there is a sense that Thackeray is no longer managing the party closely after taking over as the CM.

“My interactions with you may have reduced after becoming the chief minister, but I will not let it create distance between us,” he told leaders and functionaries.

Before the interaction with party leaders, Thackeray along with son and Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray hoisted party’s saffron flag atop the party headquarters at Shiv Sena Bhavan in Dadar. Senior party leaders including Diwakar Raote, Eknath Shinde, Sanjay Raut, Chandrakant Khaire, Gajanan Kirtikar, Aaditya Thackeray, Anil Desai, MLA Sada Sarvankar were also present.

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