Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has created a flutter by indicating that he was willing to make up with his estranged cousin, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray.
Although Sena sources claimed that back door talks with the MNS may have been initiated, they admitted that a pre-poll alliance seemed distant, but clandestine seat adjustments or post- poll understandings were possible.
Sena and MNS sources said that Uddhav’s move may help stem the possible flow of leaders, cadre and fence-sitters from the Sena to the MNS and help capitalise on the sympathy generated after Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s death in November last year.
“If anyone is willing to join the Shiv Sena sincerely, then I will welcome them,” said Uddhav in an interview with Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut in Saamna on Wednesday.
He added, “One cannot clap with just one hand,” said Uddhav. “How can you seek a reply to this question from me alone?... It depends on both of us,” he added, stating it was necessary to consider why he and Raj had drifted apart.
“Uddhav is trying to put Raj into a fix. He is saying my doors are open, it is up to you whether you want to come or not,” a Sena leader said, stating that the ball was now in Raj’s court.
A sceptical Sena leader said, “This reconciliation could not take place even when a mediator like Balasaheb was alive.”
Raj maintained his silence on the issue. At the inaugural of a foundation named after Sena leader Madhukar Sarpotdar, Raj said he would rather speak about Dada (Sarpotdar) than Dadu (Uddhav).