Uddhav slams Prithviraj Chavan’s remark on Bal Thackeray

Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday said he pitied Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for his barb at Bal Thackeray.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: February 10, 2012 12:43 am

Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday said he pitied Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for his barb at Bal Thackeray. Uddhav said,“I feel pity for the CM. I cannot comment further and insult him as he represents Maharashtra. And insulting or calling him names would be an insult to the state.”

Uddhav was reacting to Chavan’s reported statement on Wednesday that Sena chief Bal Thackeray could be rendered “inconsequential” in the state after the February 16 election.

On Thursday,speaking at an interaction with The Indian Express journalists in Mumbai,Chavan reiterated that the Sena derives its power in the state from its control of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). A loss in the BMC polls would lead to the party’s decline across the state. “I predict there will be migration from the Shiv Sena into other formations,” he said,adding that the party would have reduced relevance in state and national politics even if it continues to appeal to certain sections based on emotive issues.

Eventually,the Sena-BJP combine’s electoral strength across the country would be impacted in terms of how many seats it wins in the 2014 general elections,the Chief Minister said.

That is why he has pegged these elections a historical contest between the UPA and NDA,terming the alliance of the Congress and NCP as one against communal forces,Chavan said. NCP president Sharad Pawar recognised this and agreed with Congress leaders that an alliance was a must to oust the Sena-BJP from the BMC after 16 years.

The coming elections would be historical not because he anticipates a win for the Congress-NCP alliance,but also because the results could impact the long-term acceptance of the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party in the state,he had said.

“This election is important for the politics of Maharashtra and therefore for the politics of the country. It will be a landmark victory if we can swing it,” Chavan said,explaining that a loss for the Sena-BJP,which has controlled the coffers of the country’s richest corporation with an annual budget in excess of that of over a dozen states,would mark the “decline” of the Sena.

“This is primarily important for the Congress in the country because we can reduce the strength of communal forces in the country and Maharashtra is a large state. More importantly,in the 2014 elections,the number of seats the Sena-BJP will win in the Lok Sabha elections is likely to be reduced… They stop being largely relevant and that is my objective in this election,” he said,stating that he is “desperate” for the Congress-NCP alliance to succeed “against communal forces”.

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