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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Exclusive Lok Sabha elections 2024 Uddhav Thackeray failed to shield me hence left him says Ravindra Waikar

Exclusive | Lok Sabha elections 2024: Uddhav Thackeray failed to shield me, hence left him, says Ravindra Waikar

Updated on: 09 May,2024 06:53 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Ranjeet Jadhav |

Close Thackeray aide says when ED came after him, party boss looked the other way, making him choose rival faction

Exclusive | Lok Sabha elections 2024: Uddhav Thackeray failed to shield me, hence left him, says Ravindra Waikar

Ravindra Waikar had initially stayed loyal to Sena (UBT) after the party split. Pic/Atul Kamble

The Mumbai North West Lok Sabha constituency is witnessing a major showdown between the two Shiv Sena factions. Amol Kirtikar, son of current MP Gajanan Kirtikar and representing the Sena (UBT) faction, is up against Ravindra Waikar from the Eknath Shinde faction for the constituency.

Waikar recently spoke with mid-day and explained that when he faced scrutiny from the Enforcement Directorate, he asked Uddhav Thackeray for help and requested him to talk to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But since Thackeray didn’t support him, he had to leave the Sena (UBT).

Excerpts from the interview…

Despite being one of the longest-serving leaders in Sena (UBT) and a close confidant of Thackeray, what made you switch sides, even after remaining loyal to Thackeray through the party’s internal split?
When I was being framed, I made sure that I made my side of the matter clear to the departments concerned, including EOW, the police and ED. I was expecting that they (Uddhav Thackeray) would support me. I even requested them to call Modi-saheb because the allegations against me were false.

Had you ever anticipated a split within the Shiv Sena and the likelihood of contesting elections against the Thackeray faction candidate?
I had never imagined this. I have been associated with Shiv Sena for 50 years as I was inspired by the thoughts of the late Balasaheb Thackeray. For past three to four decades I have been actively working for the welfare of people in my area and I also ensured social harmony among the Hindu and Muslim people in my constituency. I did everything for the party. In return, I was expecting support and there is nothing wrong with it.

Ravindra Waikar during a nomination rally last week. Pic/Sayyed Sameer AbediRavindra Waikar during a nomination rally last week. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

How do you feel about being criticised by some leaders for joining the Shinde faction and collaborating with the BJP, especially after BJP leaders previously accused you of corruption?
Those who are criticising me now should have supported me when I needed them. They should have stood by me until the end, but unfortunately, they didn’t.

How are people in the constituency responding to you?
We are getting a positive response to our election campaigning. People know about the development work that I have done as an MLA. They’re also aware of the work I have done as a corporator during my years in BMC in the fields of health, education and sanitation. During my tenure as a MLA and minister, I have done a lot of work for the welfare of people and the people are aware of it. During my tenure as a guardian minister of Ratnagiri, I helped provide infrastructure-related facilities like water, roads and electricity to people. The work I have done speaks for me and it has become my brand. I recently visited a ward in my Lok Sabha constituency and I saw that a lot of work still needs to be done. When I meet people during campaigning, they say they want their area developed along the lines of my Assembly constituency which has good infrastructure and facilities. I am confident that I will receive huge support and people will vote for me.

What challenges does your constituency face, and how do you envision its future?
There are many questions pertaining to Mumbai. One of the important issues I would focus on is giving the Marathi language a classical language status. There are also frequent problems related to air traffic congestion in Mumbai and I will take this up with the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation on priority. I will also see to it that the rehabilitation of the slum dwellers on the periphery of the Mumbai airport is done so that the space that is vacated can be used for making two additional runways which will further help reduce air traffic congestion. Another important issue is that of the construction and redevelopment of societies that fall in the air funnel zone. I will work closely with people and the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation to find a solution to this issue. I will also raise the issue of people staying in slum pockets and the issues faced by the fishermen’s community and help resolve them.

What will be the election outcome in Mumbai and MMR?
I am confident that Mahayuti will do really well in Mumbai and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). We are getting a very good response from people because they want to see Modi-ji become the PM for the third time. Modi-ji is a visionary leader and his work speaks for it… be it the construction of Ram Madir, the decisions taken in favour of national security, his relations with several countries and world leaders etc. During COVID too, Modi-ji did excellent work which people across the country are praising.

Will widespread sympathy towards Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar after the division within their parties have any noticeable effects?
This is a national election. People are aware that since I have 35 years of experience in politics and working for the welfare of people, I will effectively raise their voice in parliament as compared to someone who doesn’t have any experience in solving issues of the people. People who get elected to Lok Sabha from various parts of the country are intelligent people who have a vision. The people with no experience will not be able to fulfil the expectations and promises made to the people.

No. of years Waikar has backed Shiv Sena

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