Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

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'2 Pens': E Shinde's Retort After Uddhav Thackeray's 'Traitor's Day' Jibe

Eknath Shinde has been claiming that he is the true inheritor of Balasaheb Thackeray’s legacy.

Mumbai:

The foundation day of Shiv Sena became trigger for tit-for-tat speeches and programmes today by the divided party, both factions of which are vying for the legacy of founder Balasaheb Thackeray. Former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray accused his successor Eknath Shinde of “stealing” his father’s name. Mr Shinde retaliated with a video clip of Balasaheb Thackeray vowing he would never side with the Congress.

“We will reply to them by celebrating Revolution Day tomorrow… it will be celebrated every year and every shakha (branch) of Shiv Sena,” said Mr Shinde, who formed government last year after spearheading a split in the party and then allying with the BJP.

As a final blow, Mr Shinde added, “All the people present here — you know how many signatures the Chief Minister signed in the last two-and-a-half years? I do many times more than that. I clear files in a day. When I travel in the car, I sign all the files. The previous Chief Minister did not even keep a pen with him, I keep two pens”.

In his speech at a party conclave in south-central Mumbai’s Worli, the Assembly seat of his son and former minister Aaditya Thackeray, Uddhav Thackeray was scathing.

“Tomorrow is traitor day. It will be one year of betrayal by the traitors. In this one year, they stole our name on the papers, tried to steal my father’s name as well. Still, they have to mention Uddhav Thackeray’s name in every speech. You (Eknath Shinde) can steal credit for the Ram temple. But instead of chanting the name of Ram, you chant the name of Uddhav Thackeray,” he said.  

He also questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US this week, remarking that given the situation in Manipur, that should have been the destination instead of New York and Washington.

“He wants to PM Modi to visit Manipur,” scoffed Mr Shinde. “It is no big deal for PM Modi, who had conducted surgical strikes inside Pakistan…  you should have shown some respect — at least should have gone to Mantralay from Varsha,” he added.

Uddhav Thackeray’s father, the late Balasaheb Thackeray, had founded the Shiv Sena on 19 June 1966, invoking Marathi pride. It grew on a long and arduous “sons of the soil” campaign that attempted to ensure jobs for people of the state in face of stiff competition by migrants from other states and at one time, practically controlled Mumbai.

Since splitting Shiv Sena, Mr Shinde has been claiming that he is the true inheritor of Balasaheb’s legacy.  Uddhav Thackeray, he repeatedly pointed out, has gone against the ideology of his father by allying with the Congress and Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party. 

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