Uddhav likens Shiv Sena rebels to 'rotten leaves', pitches for mid-term polls

In his first interview to Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' after stepping down as the chief minister last month, Thackeray said it was a mistake that he trusted some of the party leaders too much.

Published: 26th July 2022 09:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th July 2022 09:57 AM   |  A+A-


Former Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray. (Photo | PTI)


MMUMBAI: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday compared rebel party leaders to "rotten leaves" of a tree and said let there be elections to make it clear whether people support him on the rebel faction.

In his first interview to Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' after stepping down as the chief minister last month, Thackeray said it was a mistake that he trusted some of the party leaders too much.

Last month, the Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra, which comprised the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, collapsed after Sena MLA Eknath Shinde and 39 other legislators rebelled against the party leadership.

Shinde was later sworn in as the chief minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy.

"These rebels are like rotten leaves of a tree and should be shed. It is good for the tree as there will be new leaves," Thackeray said.

Reacting to the claim of rebel leaders that they represent the real Shiv Sena, Thackeray said let there be elections and see whom people chose.

"The people we will either vote for us or support them. It will be clear once and for all," the former CM said.

Asked who could be blamed for the rebellion, he said, "Looks like I put too much trust in some Sena workers and leaders. It is my mistake to have trusted them for such a long time."

"The BJP is not only trying to break the Shiv Sena but also trying to appropriate great leaders of other parties," Thackeray alleged.

"The way they tried to appropriate Sardar Patel from the Congress, they are doing the same thing with my late father, Balasaheb Thackeray, who founded the Shiv Sena," he claimed.

"Looks like these people are not trustworthy. They are basically causing an infighting among Sena workers," he said.

Thackeray also said the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance was worth a try in politics.

"Had it been a wrong step according to people, they would have risen against our alliance. We had respect for each other in the Maha Vikas Aghadi," the Sena chief said.

The Eknath Shinde faction of Shiv Sena on Monday took a dig at party president Uddhav Thackeray questioning how many times he had visited the office of Maharashtra chief minister when he was in power and whether he gave time to the party workers.

Deepak Kesarkar, the spokesperson for the Eknath Shinde faction, said Thackeray's "public appearances" have increased now, referring to the party outreach programmes launched by the Sena president after the collapse of his government last month.

A day earlier, Thackeray inaugurated a ward-level Shiv Sena office in south Mumbai and addressed party workers.

"We have raised three questions and we have not yet received answers. As the chief minister (November 2019-June 2022), how many times did Uddhav Thackeray go to his (chief minister's) office in Mantralaya and met Sena workers? Now, the frequency of his public appearance has increased," Kesarkar told reporters.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had often criticised the 'absence' of Uddhav Thackeray in the CM's office during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A rebellion led by Shiv Sena veteran Eknath Shinde and 39 MLAs led to the collapse of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government last month.

Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister on June 30 with Devendra Fadnavis of BJP as deputy CM.

Kesarkar also sought Thackeray's reply on the claims made by rebel Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale that it was finalised in 2021 that Shiv Sena will join hands with former ally BJP while it was still ruling the state in alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party and Congress.

"We also asked Thackeray about the details of the claims made by Sena rebel MP Rahul Shewale that it was finalised in 2021 itself to join hands with the BJP. If it was true then why these 12 MLAs were suspended and the deal called off," he asked.

During the Maharashtra Assembly's monsoon session last year, 12 MLAs of the BJP were suspended for one year for allegedly misbehaving with the presiding officer in the Assembly Speaker's chamber.

The Supreme Court later observed that the suspension of these MLAs for one year is prima facie unconstitutional.

Kesarkar said Maharashtra needs peace for progress.

He said there is no point in organising rallies against leaders of the Shinde camp and trying to pressure them.

"In the last two-and-a-half years (when MVA was in power) maximum time was spent on criticising the Union government. How can one achieve development if you do not keep good relations with the Central government?" he asked without taking the name of Sena MP Sanjay Raut who is a vocal critic of the Centre.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp