Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday publicly apologised for a cartoon published in party mouthpiece Saamana that mocked the silent marches being taken out by the Maratha community across Maharashtra.
“Our intention has never been to hurt a community. We can never humiliate our mothers and sisters. I would like to tell my mothers and sisters that if you have been hurt, I apologise to you. There is no ill will in my heart for you,” said Thackeray at a press conference here.
The Sena had earlier said it won’t apologise on the issue. Asked if he was backing down from his earlier stand, Thackeray said there was no harm in bowing before your mother.
The Shiv Sena has been rattled by the backlash over the cartoon from the Maratha community. In an apparent bid to contain the damage, a party delegation met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday, urging him to call a special Assembly session to address the Maratha community’s demands.
Thackeray said the Shiv Sena supported the Maratha community’s demand for reservation. The Sena has historically been against caste-based reservations and held that reservations should be given on the basis of economic conditions. But in a politically charged atmosphere, the party has decided to let go of its old stand on reservations.