HomePoliticsUddhav lashes out at Shinde camp, says will hold Dussehra rally despite...

Uddhav lashes out at Shinde camp, says will hold Dussehra rally despite detractors’ efforts to sow confusion’

After Sambhaji Brigade, now VHP and Bajrang Dal members join Thackeray-led Sena faction

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Mumbai: Hitting out at the rebel Shiv Sena faction led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Monday asserted that he would hold the annual Dussehra rally at Mumbai’s historic Shivaji Park at Dadar despite his detractors’ efforts to sow confusion.

The annual Dussehra rally held at Shivaji Park has been inextricably linked with the Thackeray family, current Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s intra-party revolt has dramatically altered political equations within the Shiv Sena and in the State. Eknath Shinde’s faction which includes 40 rebel Sena MLAs have said that the Thackeray camp has lost its right to hold the Dussehra rally as it had ‘forsaken’ Hindutva ideals.

Lashing out at the rebel camp, Uddhav Thackeray said: “Shiv Sainiks have begun preparation to come to the Shivaji Park from different parts of the state. We will hold the Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park come what may. Let those who want to sow seeds of confusion keep doing so…I don’t care.”

Castigating the rebel Shinde camp over the ongoing struggle for legitimacy of the party, he said that “the Shiv Sena was not something that one picked up on the streets and put it in one’s pocket while claiming as its own. Shiv Sena has grown on the shoulders of loyalists, not traitors,” he said.

Meanwhile, some office bearers of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal joined Thackeray’s faction, giving the beleaguered Sena president the chance to cock a snook at the BJP which has been accusing him of having forsaken Hindutva ideals since his alliance with the ideologically opposed NCP and the Congress in the ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ (MVA) coalition.

“The BJP keeps saying we (Shiv Sena) have left Hindutva. But today’s incident flies in the face of such claims. The doors of ‘Matoshree’ (Thackeray family’s private residence) are always open for those who feel that true ‘Hindutva’ lies with the Shiv Sena,” he said, welcoming the VHP and Bajrang Dal members. The new entrants to the party come barely two days after the pro-Maratha Sambhaji Brigade decided to ally with Thackeray and contest future elections together.

As Thackeray and his remaining Sena faction has been embattled after Eknath Shinde’s revolt, the Sena president has been welcoming members from every ideology and section in a bid to shore up his party ranks. He further said that even members from the Muslim community and from the ranks of the OBC community were also eager to join the Sena.

“For the first time in Maharashtra, we are seeing a different picture. Usually there is a queue to join the ruling party which is in power, but here people are joining us because they have discarded ‘traitors’,” Thackeray said, alluding to the Shinde faction.

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