It was the 48th anniversary of the Shiv Sena, and yet, its party chief, Uddhav Thackeray, had to face a barrage of questions from party workers would he become the chief minister if the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance won the assembly polls?
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, at the party’s 48th anniversary celebrations, said he hadn’t taken a decision on whether he would contest the polls, or become the CM, if the opportunity came. Pic/Sameer Markande
Speaking to his party workers at Rang Sharda, Bandra, Thackeray had the same reply each time the question was posed: I haven’t thought about it. “It is natural for people in Shiv Sena to demand that I be CM, but as the party head the alliance hasn’t decided anything on it.”
When someone asked if would contest elections, he said, “I don’t take decisions based on other people’s actions.” This was a sly comment on his cousin Raj’s announcement to contest the assembly polls. Uddhav finally had to put an end to the curious crowd saying no matter how many times they asked, his reply would nonetheless be the same.
Clarifying further enquiries on whether the BJP, after its victory in the Lok Sabha elections, had demanded more seats in the assembly polls, he said that the alliance was still reeling in shock over Gopinath Munde’s death and that the matter had not even been broached yet.
‘Cong stealing our ideas’
He then launched an attack on the Congress, saying that the latter was trying to hog credit for the Nhava Sheva Link Road and coastal road project (connecting Borivli to Nariman Point). “We had proposed these projects, but the government never acted on them. Now, they claim it to be their own.”
He further added that he wouldn’t let the government’s controversial plan to convert Mahalaxmi Racecourse into a VIP heliport materialise. “Only a public garden shall come there,” he said. The party also distributed a document enlisting various plans it shall undertake if it comes to power in the state. These include an ordinance to save buildings like Campa Cola, an elevated rail corridor, water transport on the eastern part of the city and many others.
The party chief also warned his workers not to get too complacent after the victory in the Lok Sabha polls. He asked them to work hard to win the assembly polls. Also, the 18 elected MPs of the Sena would meet once a month at the party headquarters Sena Bhavan and discuss the problems of the public, and try to arrive at solutions, he declared.
The year in which late Bal Thackeray founded Shiv Sena