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Uddhav ticks off ‘dissident’ Joshi

Former CM had made comments that Sena thinks were a dig at their leader

Written by Shubhangi Khapre | Mumbai | Published: October 13, 2013 2:11:41 am

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray Saturday ticked

off former Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi for his growing dissidence against the party and its leadership.

At a public function in Dadar on Friday,Joshi had said,“Were Bal Thackeray alive and if he had to take a decision on the memorial for his father,he would resolved the issue by now. And if any government had said no,Thackeray would have brought that government down.”

Joshi’s comments did not go down well with the Sena leadership,which interpreted it as a dig at Uddhav. Though the former chief minister promptly offered apology,Sena sources said Uddhav had pulled

him up at a 15-minute meeting held between the two Saturday.

“There is a limit to how many times a senior leader like you makes mistake by going public against the party and its leadership,” the Sena chief is learnt to have told Joshi during the meeting.

“This is the second time you have come to me to offer apology for your public outburst. I am silent because I respect your age. But imagine where it will

land you if I give my reaction,” Uddhav reportedly told Joshi.

Senior leaders in the Sena said Joshi wanted to extract a commitment from Uddhav that he would be fielded for Mumbai South Central Lok Sabha seat in place of Sena’s official candidate Rahul Shewale.

They said that by making public comments against the Sena leadership,Joshi was attempting to invite expulsion from the party so that he could join Raj Thackeray-led MNS ahead of 2014 polls.

Moreover,Joshi has also met NCP president Sharad Pawar,who appears to have given no guarantees.

“I understand there are some issues. But I feel Joshi will not leave Sena,” Pawar told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Mumbai on Saturday.

MNS chief Raj Thackeray has also stayed clear of the issue. “The developments have nothing to do with me or my party,” he told The Indian Express.

Sena leaders,however,believe Pawar and Raj were likely to exploit Joshi’s ambitions to create problems in their party by driving him to contest as an Independent from Mumbai South Central Lok Sabha constituency.

Sources close to Uddhav said he had reminded Joshi during their meeting on Saturday that the Sena had given him all key posts,including the chief ministership of Maharashtra and the post of Lok Sabha Speaker.

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