After spending months aggressively portraying him as the next CM of Maharashtra, Shiv Sena workers were shocked and BJP leaders gleeful when media reports emerged yesterday claiming that Uddhav Thackeray had said that he was not in the running for the state’s top post. Many even said that Uddhav was taking a cue from his cousin Raj Thackeray, who has reportedly decided not to contest in the upcoming elections.
mid-day, however, spoke to the Sena chief himself yesterday, who denied the reports and said his remarks, made at a Nanded public meet on Saturday, had been misconstrued. “People didn’t understand my statement. What I had said was, ‘I don’t dream of becoming the CM, I dream of providing all the facilities to the public’.” Immediately, a newly elected MP, who was standing next to Uddhav, said, “Our CM is Uddhav saheb and it’s decided.”
Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut was also heard saying “Uddhav Thackeray will run the upcoming government”. While Sena workers will be happy, Uddhav’s denial will come as a jolt to many CM aspirants from the BJP, who were reportedly overjoyed after reading in the Sunday newspapers that he did not want to be CM.
For the last two months or so, the Shiv Sena has been promoting Uddhav Thackeray as the chief ministerial candidate, even coming up with an UTha Maharashtra slogan to rival the NaMo campaign. Uddhav, however, never openly expressed a desire to become the CM, maintaining that his party workers wanted him to hold the post.
A senior Sena leader said, “From Shiv Sena, there is only one person who is going to be the chief minister, and that’s Uddhav Thackeray. There are no other contenders. If one reads Uddhav’s statement properly, it categorically says that he hasn’t dreamt about becoming the chief minister, but wants to provide facilities to the public of the state. Now you tell me, how will he give facilities without becoming the CM?”