Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray has said that he will not take over the position of "Shiv Sena pramukh" (supremo) which will always belong to his late father Bal Thackeray.
"There will not be another Sena Pramukh," Uddhav said in an interview to his party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
He said Bal Thackeray, who passed away on November 17, will always be Shiv Sena "pramukh" and "Hinduhriday samrat".
"These titles suit only his personality," he added.
Asked about the controversy over memorial for Bal Thackeray, Uddhav said he did not wish to involve himself in it. "The controversy is unwarranted," he noted.
Uddhav said he is still finding it difficult to believe that the Sena patriarch is no more. "But, I have to start afresh. Whenever I am alone, I am overwhelmed with memories, feel he is still around and want to meet him. Countless Shiv Sainiks also feel the same," he said.
"I want to tell the Shiv Sainiks to overcome this grief and prepare to fight on the path shown by Balasaheb," he added.
Uddhav said his father's health started deteriorating after his (Uddhav's) second angioplasty procedure on November 4.
He said he is undertaking a short tour of the state to thank people for their love and support to him after the Sena chief passed away. "I just want to stand before them with my hands folded in Namaskar," he said.
Uddhav said he will undertake an extensive tour of the state from January-February next year.
"Shiv Sena will fulfil Balasaheb's dream of coming to power in Maharashtra and transforming it into a progressive and strong state," he said, adding that he will work tirelessly to achieve the purpose.
To a question on the future direction of the party, Uddhav said it will be on the path laid down by Balasaheb. "Fight for rights of sons of soil, Marathi 'asmita', Mumbai, Hindutva and against Bangladeshi migrants and Islamic fundamentalism," he added.
Though Uddhav has declined to accept the mantle of supremo formally, the party has handed him all the decision-making powers that rested with Bal Thackeray.
"An important meeting of Sena leaders took place yesterday...it was decided in the meeting to hand over all the powers that rested with Balasaheb to Uddhav," party spokesman and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said.
The meeting took place on the second floor of Thackeray family's suburban Bandra residence 'Matoshree', where senior Thackeray lived. "The atmosphere at the meeting was charged with emotions," Raut said.
Those present included Raut, former Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi, Sudhir Joshi, Leeladhar Dake, Subhash Desai, Ramdas Kadam and Gajanan Kirtikar.