Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray has made it amply apparent that the upper house of Parliament holds no allure for him. So, while queering the pitch for Sachin Tendulkar’s new innings as a Rajya Sabha member after Congress nominating the Master Blaster, Thackeray, on Sunday, also touched upon the fact that a relative had approached him for a ticket to the Council of States, which he had denied her.
“One of my relatives had come to me and she asked for a Rajya Sabha ticket. I asked her what she would do in the Rajya Sabha. She wanted to raise the issue of piracy in the House, but how many times can one raise the same issue? Hence, I denied her the ticket. I will never go to Rajya Sabha, nor will I fight any election ever,” the Sena chief said.
After this comment of Bal Thackeray, everyone in the political circles was curious to know who the particular relative was. According to sources from Shiv Sena, the person in question is none other than Smita Thackeray — the estranged daughter-in-law of the Sena supremo.
Smita, a film producer and also a former president of the Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association, has been connected with the film industry, but in the past had also exhibited political aspirations. Two to three years ago, Smita had even publicly displayed an inclination to join Congress, which had led to a major controversy.
Ask Smita if Bal Thackeray was alluding to her when making the point, and she deflects the question. “I can’t comment on it because I haven’t heard Balasaheb. Anyway, these days people misinterpret and put words into others’ mouths as and when it suits their purpose. Let me first hear Balasaheb and then I will comment on it.”
Real reel problems
But then she touched upon her aspiration to fight piracy and entertainment tax. “Yes I want to be a Rajya Sabha MP and fight for the causes of the entertainment industry, and stopping piracy is a top priority. I had showed interest earlier too, but then I don’t know what happened. I didn’t get the Rajya Sabha seat,” she told MiD DAY.
Meanwhile, when asked whether she has joined Congress or left Sena, Smita said she is not with any party. “I am neither with Sena nor Congress. But yes, I do have plans that I will disclose when the right time comes. I do want matters like piracy and other entertainment issues to be heard by policymakers and if I don’t get an MP’s seat, I will try to fight for the issue through other means.”