Almost a month after the split in the Shiv Sena, Aaditya Thackeray has hit the road to connect with the masses and rebuild the party. Having started a three-day ‘Shiv Sanvaad Yatra’ across various districts, the Yuva Sena chief told Eeshanpriya M S and Vallabh Ozarkar that his first agenda is to ensure that there is no confusion among the Sena cadre. Excerpts:
Is this the end of such an alliance for Maharashtra?
The people haven’t lost faith in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA). They are disgusted with the dirty politics of greed displayed by the traitors. The idea of MVA wasn’t an alternative or option, it basically became a model of democracy where parties and people from varying ideologies could work for the people and ensure peace and prosperity for the state.
Will Shiv Sena continue to contest elections in the state as a constituent of MVA?
The leaders of MVA will decide this, but both Congress and NCP have shown their faith and support for Uddhavji (Thackeray) in testing times.
Why did the Eknath Shinde camp rebel?
I can only say that we gave them everything we could, in terms of trust and official posts. I still don’t know why we had to be backstabbed in such a fashion for the greed of a few. Their intent was to finish the Shiv Sena and isolate Uddhav Thackeray ji. We don’t know for what reason. But on ground, I see the Sainiks are charged up and people don’t tolerate such treachery.
What are the plans for revival of Sena?
The traitors are trying to create confusion (among the Sena cadre). Our first agenda is to ensure that nobody is confused. They (rebels) have backstabbed Uddhav Thackeray and that is the truth. The party cadre stands with Uddhavji. We have full faith in the Constitution. On the ground, no Sainik has gone with the traitors. The issue is confined to the parliamentary and legislative aspect of the party, and the greed of a few.
There is criticism that the top rung of Sena and those closest to the Thackerays are losing connect with the masses.
It’s the same script the traitors used 15 years ago, and it’s the easiest script to use. But people today are more aware due to social media and multiple media outlets.
Do you believe the love and support Shiv Sena has among common people has taken a hit?
Everyone knows that Uddhav Thackeray is a good hearted, straightforward person. He worked as CM, only for the people, without indulging in mudslinging or dirty politics. He ensured peace and prosperity in the state and his work during Covid-19 times is well known. People stand by him. Even those who haven’t voted for Sena before, stand by him. Everyone knows that a good man has been backstabbed.
Who do you blame for the split in your party?
I blame the greed of the traitors, whom we gave everything – from their political identity to ministries. The other blame may be is on us, for trusting too much, not lowering the standards of politics and humane behaviour.
Rebel MPs have claimed that the Thackerays’ were keen on a patch up with the BJP.
The traitors can go on with their script. It’s their choice, but they will always be known as the traitors who betrayed a good man, doing good work for Maharashtra.
Is there a possibility of reconciliation with BJP and rebels?
I normally avoid answering ifs and buts. As for rebels, I’ve always said that for those who want to come back to the Sena family, our doors are always open. We did no wrong, we gave them everything wecould.
How do you see the new government’s decision to move Metro car shed back to Aarey Colony?
It is unfortunate for Mumbai, deeply disappointing for climate action and purely based on ego.