Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday admitted that he compromised on the seat-sharing pact with the BJP for the Maharashtra polls on October 21 but insisted that it was “for the welfare of the state”.
The Sena had been pressing for at least 135 seats during months of wrangling with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but later settled for 124 and two seats in the Maharashtra Legislative Council from the saffron party’s quota. In an interview to Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana, Thackeray said he had shown “maturity” in dealing with the alliance.
Thackeray also spoke about his son taking the plunge into electoral politics, adding that it does not mean he is retiring. The Sena chief’s son Aaditya Thackeray is entering electoral politics from Worli constituency in Mumbai, and the October 21 state polls are being seen as a litmus test for the party, whether it can bank on the young leader’s popularity to win public mandate.
“Aaditya contesting the Assembly election does not necessarily mean I am retiring from active politics. I am very much around,” he said. “I am not going to do farming,” he said sarcastically, in an apparent reference to NCP leader Ajit Pawar who recently resigned as an MLA and advised his son to prefer farming or business over politics.
He also claimed that in 2014, when the Sena and BJP snapped ties ahead of the Assembly polls, his party put a check on the ‘Modi wave’ which had swept the country.
“There is no point in discussing the reasons behind the BJP and Sena contesting (the 2014 polls) separately. It was a war. There was a ‘wave’ at the national level, but we put a check on it in Maharashtra,” he said. “Despite being in power, we have always raised voice for the cause of the common man,” he added.