Senior Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi’s glory days in the party are clearly over. The former Lok Sabha Speaker was booed by party workers and had to leave the stage at the party’s annual Dussehra rally on Sunday.
This comes two days after Mr. Joshi publicly criticised party chief Uddhav Thackeray. Mr. Joshi had said that if party supremo Bal Thackeray had been alive, the State government would not have dared to oppose his father’s memorial. A clear indication that he considered Uddhav Thackeray’s leadership to be weak.
At the rally, a combative Mr. Thackeray said he would not succumb to pressure from anyone. “I am your leader only as long as you want me as your leader. That’s what my father also used to say. But as long as I am your leader, I will not take decisions under pressure,” he said.
Mr. Joshi has been angling for an assurance of a Lok Sabha ticket from the party for the forthcoming parliamentary polls. However, the Shiv Sena prefers to field a younger leader. Just a few days ago, Mr. Joshi met Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar in Delhi, to explore the possibility of a Rajya Sabha seat. None of this has gone down well with the Sena leadership.