Updated: June 25, 2022 12:44:06 pm
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray shot down suggestions Friday of any rapprochement with the BJP, saying there was no chance of him sitting “shoulder-to-shoulder” with those who had made “personal attacks” on him and his family.
Addressing Shiv Sena district presidents via videolink in an attempt to consolidate his hold over the party machinery, Uddhav said, “I was under pressure from some MLAs to join hands with the BJP. I can never sit again with those who attacked Matoshree and my family. I may be calm, but I am not weak.”
The rebel Sena MLAs, led by Eknath Shinde, have said the party needs to revive its relationship with the BJP and break away from the “ideologically opposed” Congress and NCP.
Uddhav attacked the rebel MLAs: “Those whom we raised, their ambitions have grown manifold. I can’t fulfill their ambitions anymore. Let them go.”
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He said they had sworn loyalty to the party but had deserted it in its time of need. He rejected claims that he did not ensure allocation of development funds for their constituencies.
“Some MLAs said that even if their tickets are cancelled, they will not leave the Sena. But now they are gone, let them go. Many complained about lack of funding. I have been working on allocating funds equitably. After the (previous) revolt, Shiv Sena came to power twice, and both times I gave these people important posts,” he said.
He said he was the inheritor of the real Shiv Sena and the party was still under his control. “Take as many MLAs as you want. But as long as these roots of Balasaheb remain, the Shiv Sena will not end. Those who left were never mine. The original Shiv Sena is with me,” he said.
Without naming Shinde, Uddhav said he ensured that MLAs were given charge of important ministries. “I always gave them important ministries. The Urban Development Department is always held by the CM but I gave it to him (Shinde). I kept unimportant ministries with me,” he said.
On the charge that he was trying to foist his son Aaditya as the next leader of the Shiv Sena, Uddhav said even Shinde’s son Shrikant is an MP.
“Earlier, they would criticise Balasaheb in similar fashion, saying he is surrounded by a coterie. They are doing the same now, targeting Aaditya. Your (Shinde’s) own son is an MP, but my son should not become anything. When did I stop any Shiv Sainik’s son from becoming anything?” he said.
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