Maharashtra Navanirman Sena leader Raj Thackeray on Tuesday skipped the function organised to pay respects to late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray at Shanamukhananda Hall at Matunga.
A galaxy of personalities from various fields, inclduing BJP leaders LK Advani and Nitin Gadkari, Vasant Davkhare, Jayant Patil, former cricketer Madhav Mantri and industrialist Rahul Bajaj were present at the function.
Advani said that throughout his political career he had not seen any leader like Thackeray. “He was original. He had never thought of or was worried about what the audience liked, but he said whatever he is felt was right. He had his influence over the government without being part of it. When somebody passes away, we say a void has been created; but in Thackeray’s case, an actual void has been created,” said Advani.
BJP leader Nitin Gadkari said: “Thackeray never compromised for what he wanted to say. During the Sena-BJP alliance government, he gave us a lot of courage and encouraged us to face the problems. There were many people in the past who looked big but they turned out to be smaller when went closer. But Thackeray was bigger than what he looked from far.”
Rahul Bajaj said he never faced any trouble due to Shiv Sena’s labour wing in his factories. “People say he was a dictator; but we need more such dictators in politics,” he said.