On Balasaheb’s birthday, battle for legacy plays out in Mumbai | India News – Times of India

MUMBAI: As the battle for the legacy of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray played out in Mumbai on his 97th birth anniversary on Monday, Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray lashed out at the breakaway Sena faction, saying “you are Modi’s people but you want Balasaheb‘s face”.
“Despite Modi, without Balasaheb you cannot get votes in Maharashtra. Even PM Modi has had to admit this,” said Uddhav in his address to workers of Shiv Sena (UBT) at Shanmukhananda Hall.
“We are ready to come face-to-face. You put Modi’s photo and we will put Balasaheb’s photo. See who Maharashtra sides with. But you don’t have the guts to face polls,” he said, referring to CM Eknath Shinde.
Targeting Modi, he said the PM’s comments about the BMC retaining fixed deposits instead of using these funds for projects were “scary”. “Why do you want Mumbai? Because it’s the hen that lays the golden egg. They want Mumbai to become bankrupt. We will not let them loot Mumbai,” he said.
Hurling another barb at Shinde for trying to appropriate Thackeray’s legacy, he said: “This person who steals fathers, do you remember your own father? You are Balasaheb’s follower and Modi’s man. You also say Sharad Pawar speaks nicely to you.”
He said he was happy an oil portrait of Bal Thackeray had been installed in the state assembly, but questioned the motive behind it, pointing out BJP was trying to appropriate Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s legacy. “They didn’t participate in the freedom struggle or the Samyukta Maharashtra movement. Even during the 1992-93 riots, their tail was between their legs,” he said.
Sena mouthpiece Saamna in an editorial described the unveiling of the portrait as hypocrisy. “Those who called themselves Modi’s men on BJP’s platform in an act of desperation and slavery, why are they indulging in this hypocrisy? There is no loyalty in this oil painting,” said the Saamna, referring to Shinde sharing the dais with Modi at BKC recently.
On the question of his tenure as Sena chief coming to an end on Monday, Uddhav said: “As long as lakhs of Shiv Sainiks want me, I’ll remain president. If they want me to go, I will step down.”

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