MUMBAI: Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Friday appealed to party workers to bury their differences and unite for the party’s win in the 2019 Assembly polls while also witnessing a heated exchange between the office bearers of the party.
Uddhav Thackeray had called a meeting of office bearers above unit heads (Shakha Pramukh) at party headquarters Sena Bhavan at Dadar this afternoon. His idea was to get a ground report on the political situation in each district from the grass root workers and seek their suggestions to strengthen the party. However, the initiative was marred by heated exchanges between the office bearers and ministers.
The worst battle of words ensued between the minister of state for agriculture Gulabrao Patil and Shiv Sena district president Chandrakant Patil. Chandrakant Patil tried to readout many complaints against Gulabrao Patil, but was challenged and not allowed to speak while levelling counter allegations against him, said a senior party leader.
"As ministers, we are answerable to senior party leaders. Leaders of lower ranks should understand this before making complaints. They (low-rank leaders) are not responsible for our decisions. We have to manage several pressures, Gulabrao Patil said while Uddhav Thackeray tried to pacify both parties," sources said.
Uddhav Thackeray who addressed a press conference after the meeting, tried to underplay the differences within his party.
“I told party workers that when the BJP has set their target for 2019 Assembly poll, it is very clear that BJP will go alone. In such a situation, we should have to focus on the election,” Uddhav Thackeray said at the press conference.
Many senior party officials, however, were visibly disturbed at the outburst during the meeting. “During the days of Balasaheb, the party apparatus had primacy over elected representatives. However, now the trend has reversed. Now ministers are getting more importance. Some of them are misusing the situation and trying to grow bigger than the party,” Chandrakant Patil said, arguing that the sentiment is widespread in the organisation and would ruin the party.