'Betral defamed not just Sena but...': Uddhav Thackeray in Eknath Shinde's political turf Thane
On the eve of the birth anniversary of late Anand Dighe, considered the mentor of CM Eknath Shinde, Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray inaugurated a massive medical camp in Thane city on Thursday. "I am satisfied that the Shiv Sena has not moved away from its goal despite the current foul situation. We have genuine Shiv Sainiks on our side," said Thackeray.
For the first time since losing power in June last year due to the Eknath Shinde's rebellion, Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray visited Thane city, the political turf of Shinde, on Thursday, January 23, 2023. Thackeray inaugurated a mega medical camp organised by the party at the Shivaji Maidan in Thane on the eve of the birth anniversary of Sena leader late Anand Dighe, considered the mentor of CM Shinde.
Dighe's massive popularity made Thane one of the Sena's safest seats; however, Shinde's rebellion last June led to the vast majority of the region's rank and file defecting to the latter's Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena.
Organising a massive medical camp and Thackeray's visit to the city, ahead of Dighe's anniversary on Friday, are seen as efforts to rebuild the Shiv Sena (UBT) in Thane. Thackeray paid floral tribute to Dighe at Anand Math, the de facto centre of the Sena movement in Thane for decades.
While addressing the crowd, Thackeray said Shiv Sena and Maharashtra had been defamed due to the 'betrayal and defection' that happened, referring to Shinde and the 39 MLAs who brought down the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
"This visit was a brief one to take care of the health of Thanekars," said Thackeray, adding he would return to address a mass gathering to take care of the 'political health of Thanekars.'
Thackeray said, "I am satisfied that the Shiv Sena has not moved away from its goal despite the current foul situation. I am very proud of it. Bal Thackeray, the Shiv Sena supremo, has taught us that 80 per cent is social work and only 20 per cent is political work. Now, we have genuine Sainiks on our side."
"Those who left preferred to sell themselves," taunted Thackeray, with the audience yelling 'Rs 50 crore' when he asked the crowd if they knew the sale price.
Thackeray claimed that slogans worth Rs 50 crore were heard even during the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir, and a video of that incident was shown to him by party Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut.
"These slogans have spread across the country. However, Maharashtra and the Shiv Sena have been defamed due to this. There is no need to mourn for those who have left as the true Sainiks will light the 'Mashaal' (Thackeray faction party symbol)," he added.
Meanwhile, while responding to a question about Uddhav Thackeray's visit to Thane city, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said that in a democratic system, everyone has the right to promote his political party and fight to advance their organisation.
(With inputs from PTI)
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