In a veiled swipe at Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said he heads the “original ” Sena which was born out of social work spanning four generations.
Addressing the party functionaries at Shiv Sena Bhavan here, Thackeray said Sena cannot be “snatched away or purchased”.
“We are the original party born out of decades of social work spanning four generations,” he said.
Thackeray said the attempts made in the past to weaken Shiv Sena by engineering splits and defections had failed and wouldn’t succeed even now.
Shiv Sena spokesman and Lok Sabha MP Vinayak Raut told PTI that Thackeray asked the party functionaries to activate the grassroots cadre and focus on strengthening the party organization.
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Thackeray told the party functionaries that the annual Dussehra rally of Shiv Sena will be held at the traditional spot at Shivaji Park in Mumbai and asked them to prepare themselves for the event.
As part of the preparations for the rally, Thackeray will meet Sena functionaries on September 21.
The applications filed by the factions led by Thackeray and Shinde seeking a nod for the rally are pending approval with the Mumbai civic body.
Eknath Shinde’s rebellion, along with 40 MLAs, against the Sena leadership, led to the collapse of the Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in June this year.
The Shinde camp calls itself the original Shiv Sena of Bal Thackeray and had also staked the claim to Sena’s poll symbol- a “bow and arrow”.
Both factions are locked in a legal battle in the Supreme Court over a host of issues, including the disqualification of rebel legislators and various appointments made by the rebel camp.