Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena chief on Monday said that he is not retiring. His son contesting the elections does not mean he will take a back seat, and expressed confidence that a Sena worker would one day become the state’s chief minister.
Thackeray even claimed that his party was able to put a check on the ‘Modi wave’ in the 2014 Maharashtra Assembly Elections, in an interview to Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’. But he once again reiterated that there was no point in a discussion now on why they parted ways with the BJP at that time. Out of 288 assembly seats in Maharastra, Shiv Sena is contesting on 124 seats while BJP will contest on 164 seats with smaller allies.
“One day, a Shiv Sainik would become the chief minister of Maharashtra, it is a promise I made to my father and Sena founder late Balasaheb,” Uddhav Thackeray said in the interview, a part of which was released on Monday.
Earlier, in August also Uddhav Thackeray had recalled the “promise” he had made to his late father Bal Thackeray to install a ‘Shiv Sainik’ (party worker) as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. His statement had come against the backdrop of the BJP top brass repeatedly stressing that incumbent Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis would helm the state once again.
“Aaditya is contesting elections but that doesn’t mean that he will immediately become CM or deputy CM. He wants to take some legislative experience. He is interested in that,” Uddhav added in the ‘Saamana ‘ interview.
Aaditya Thackeray, the Shiv Sena chief’s son is taking a plunge in the electoral politics by contesting the Worli Assembly seat in Mumbai for the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly elections. A first in the family to fight an election, it would be a show of strength and absolute test for the Sena, banking on young leader’s popularity.
“Aaditya contesting the Assembly election does not necessarily mean I am retiring from active politics. I am very much around,” he said. “I am not going to do farming,” he said sarcastically,in an apparent reference to NCP leader Ajit Pawar who recently resigned as an MLA and advised his son to prefer farming or business over politics. He also claimed that in 2014, when the Sena and BJP snapped ties ahead of the Assembly polls, his party put a check on the ‘Modi wave’ which had swept the country.
He further said, “There is no point in discussing the reasons behind the BJP and Sena contesting (the 2014 polls) separately. It was a war. There was a ‘wave’ at the national level, but we put a check on it in Maharashtra,” he said. “Despite being in power, we have always raised voice for the cause of the common man.”
In the last few months, the talks between the two parties hadn’t been smooth. Shiv Sena was hoping for a 50:50 seat-sharing formula, similar to what happened in this year’s Lok Sabha elections. A certain section of the party leaders even pushed for ending the alliance if their demands were not fulfilled.
Maharashtra will go to the polls on October 21 and votes will be counted on October 24. Results will be declared on the same day.
On 288 seats in the state, BJP-Shiv Sena alliance and Congress-Nationalist Congress Party combinations will be competing for power.
BJP and Shiv Sena had ended their alliance in 2014 Maharashtra elections. They got together only after the electorate delivered a split verdict.
(With inputs from PTI)