Is it an unfreezing of the cold war or just a day of warmth in the middle of the big chill? That’s the question leaders from Shiv Sena, MNS and other political parties are trying to find an answer to while dissecting Monday’s show of bonhomie between Uddhav and Raj Thackeray.
MiD DAY had reported yesterday (‘Calculators out as Raj drives Uddhav home’) about how politicians were analysing the permutations and combinations in case the estranged cousins join forces.
Sources say an unofficial camp has emerged, which comprises leaders from Sena and MNS, and which is now trying to get Raj and Uddhav together.
A senior MLA from Shiv Sena said, “While no leader is coming out in public or speaking about this openly even in party circles, everyone here is hoping that what they saw on Monday (Raj and Uddhav together) isn’t just an anomaly, and instead they join forces.”
The animosity between functionaries from both parties was nowhere in evidence, at least when they shared the same room at Matoshree yesterday. They spoke amicably and no MNS leader was stopped from entering either Lilavati Hospital while Uddhav was present there, or Bal Thackeray’s abode at Bandra. All the MLAs from MNS made it a point to visit the ailing Sena executive president at the hospital.
Meanwhile, Satish Walunj, the man who has been running the movement Mazi Chalval Mi Maharashtracha (My movement for my Maharashtra), in which he puts up hoardings of Raj and Uddhav together with Balasaheb Thackeray, and has been campaigning for the warring cousins to come together, said, “My dream is on its path. I won’t say it’s been fulfilled, but it’s on the right path. It is the wish of every Marathi Manoos, Shiv Sainik and MNS supporter that Raj and Uddhav come together. It finally seems to be happening but we hope that this cordiality lasts.”
He added that even earlier when Raj’s party had supported the Sena in electing its mayor to Thane Municipal Corporation, people had thought that the feud had ended. But in the Nashik municipal elections they again went their separate ways.
Meanwhile, leaders from outfits are speculating over the options of a merger or an alliance.
“With an alliance the benefit is that voters won’t leave any of the two parties. Hence, it’s better to align than to have a unification,” said a senior Sena leader.