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Updated: October 24, 2009 11:59 IST

Hurt by Sena poll rout, Bal Thackeray attacks Marathi pride

PTI
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A file picture of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray with his son Uddhav Thackeray coming out of polling bouth after casting their vote in Mumbai. Photo: Vivek Bendre
A file picture of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray with his son Uddhav Thackeray coming out of polling bouth after casting their vote in Mumbai. Photo: Vivek Bendre

Upset over Shiv Sena’s electoral debacle in Maharashtra, party chief Bal Thackeray today said it was not “outsiders” but Maharashtrians themselves who had stabbed him in the back.

Quoting an English newspaper headline `MNS gives Cong Raj a hand”, (Raj Thackeray-led MNS helps Congress retain power), the Sena chief said, “This sums it all“.

Striking a cynical note in his first editorial in party mouthpiece `Saamana’ after the Assembly election results on October 22, the 84-year-old Thackeray said, “There is an evil spirit that is separating me from you (Marathi people) and not allowing a meeting of minds“.

“I do not have any hope that even this writing will have any influence on your thinking. In fact, I have lost faith in everything, including Maharashtrians and also God. I am at great pains to make this statement but I have no desire to hide the truth and indulge in self-deception,” he said.

He wondered as to why the ‘Marathi Manoos’, who turns to Shiv Sena to serve his interests in all walks of life, failed to vote for the organisation born for him.

The Sena, which ruled the state in alliance with BJP from 1995 to 1999, finished fourth, winning just 44 of the 169 seats it contested. BJP bagged 46 seats. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, led by Thackeray’s estranged nephew Raj, severely dented the Sena’s traditional Marathi vote base.

Citing success of regional parties of Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi in Tamil Nadu, and Narendra Modi, who appealed to the Gujarati “pride” besides Naveen Patnaik in Orissa, Mr. Thackeray said, “It seems that Marathi people still have not got wiser and their minds are dead.”

“I have given vent to my feelings to relieve my anguish. I devoted 44 years of my life for you. I do not know what crime I have committed and where I have gone wrong. If the dead minds of Maharashtrians are not going to be resurrected, I should not subject myself to this agony,” the Sena patriarch added.


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