Raj Thackeray reaches out to estranged, ailing Uddhav
Bonhomie fuels speculation of reunion of warring cousins
Political tongues were set wagging when Shiv Sena (SS) executive president Uddhav Thackeray, admitted to hospital on Monday morning following chest pain, on discharge was escorted and driven back home by estranged cousin and leader of rival party Raj Thackeray.
Uddhav was discharged later in the evening with an advise of few days rest; and cousin Raj, leader of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) with whom he had in past politically exchanged verbal fisticuffs much to everybody’s surprise personally drove him back to the famed SS chief Bal Thackeray’s house ‘Matoshree.’ Uddhav, 52, son of SS chief Bal Thackeray and a wildlife photographer underwent ECG, Angiography and other diagnostic tests to ascertain the cause of uneasiness in the chest.
Talking to Deccan Herald, Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Bharat Kumar Raut said: “Tests have (shown) some blockages. However, he is safe and has been advised complete rest and symptomatic treatment for 2-3 days.”
Since morning Leelavati Hospital on the border of island city and Greater Mumbai suburbs, was swarming with a jostling crowd. The arrival of Raj to meet his cousin set the rumour mills rolling and once again signalled hopes for party leaders trying to bring about a reunion of the party that saw a vertical split in 2006.
Raj Thackeray, after falling out of his uncle Bal Thackeray and cousin Uddhav Thackeray, formed MNS; since then both cousins have been hurling barbs at each other. There have been futile attempts to bring about a re-unification by leaders who found themselves out of power in state and city politics, because of the split in the party-power-turf.
In the last local self-government elections, their vitriolic attacks even became personal. While SS, under personal strategic supervision of Bal Thackeray cruised through the Mumbai Municipal Corporation polls, MNS much to its own shock failed miserably compared to other parties’ performance. However, Monday’s show of unity in Thackeray family at a time of a medical emergency has sparked off hopes amongst old-timers.