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Cong.-NCP leaders join Sena rank and file to offer tributes

In memoriam: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackarey offers prayers at the Bal Thackeray memorial at Shivaji Park on Sunday.

In memoriam: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackarey offers prayers at the Bal Thackeray memorial at Shivaji Park on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Bate

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Several leaders of the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) paid their respects to Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray at Shivaji Park on his death anniversary on Sunday, apart from the entire rank and file of the Sena.

Party MP Sanjay Raut once again said the State will soon have a chief minister from the Shiv Sena. The Sena is in talks with the Congress and NCP to possibly come together to form a government.

Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, along with wife, Rashmi, and sons Aaditya and Tejas, paid his respects to his father.

From senior leaders Manohar Joshi, Subhash Desai, Neelam Gorhe and Mr. Raut, to Yuva Sena members and party workers, Shiv Sainiks flocked to the memorial. The Sena’s leader in the Assembly, Eknath Shinde, and party workers reached on foot from Dadar station.

Senior NCP leaders Jayant Patil, Chhagan Bhujbal, Jitendra Awhad visited the memorial early in the day. Senior Congress leader Bhai Jagtap also paid his respects, saying he does so every year and there is nothing political about it.

Social media tributes

Troughout the day, thousands of people visited the memorial. Others, including celebrities, paid their respects on social media. NCP chief Sharad Pawar tweeted his respects to “the man who created a Marathi Manoos who celebrated regional pride, the man known for his oratory and eternally loved by his followers.”

Raj remembers

Though MNS chief Raj Thackeray, the Sena founder’s nephew, did not visit Shivaji Park, the official MNS Twitter handle tweeted a video with a montage of Bal Thackeray’s pictures. The MNS chief is heard narrating an anecdote of when the uncle and nephew had to reach Sena Bhavan. Since the Sena founder did not use a car with a red beacon, he refused to sit in the then mayor’s car and travelled by taxi, with the mayor’s car following it.

Mr. Raut, when asked about talks with the Congress-NCP, told mediapersons, “Balasaheb’s dream of having a Sena CM will be fulfilled soon.”

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had put up pandals, a stage, barricades and sheds, distributed food packets, and installed a sound system, lights, CCTV cameras, door-frame detectors and scanners.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 10:31:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/cong-ncp-leaders-join-sena-rank-and-file-to-offer-tributes/article30001788.ece

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