Uddhav, Raj together at function

Uddhav, Raj together at function

 The two Thackeray cousins – Uddhav and Raj – met warmly and sat next to each other on the second death anniversary of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray on Monday – sparking off yet again speculations of the two cousins coming together politically.

However, political observers said that a Raj-Uddhav political tie-up is not something that would happen in the near future. Uddhav, 54, the president of Shiv Sena and Raj, 46, the president of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), have attacked each other  politically for long.

 However, they mellowed in the run up to the Vidhan Sabha polls. The outcome of polls was surprising  for both as the Shiv Sena could bag just 63 seats and the MNS just one.

In 2003, Raj had proposed the name of the Sena chief’s son Uddhav as the Shiv Sena executive president, but in 2005, he felt sidelined and left the party and founded the MNS in 2006. In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Raj’s party created a dent in the Sena base and in Assembly polls won 13 seats. However, the story in 2014 elections – Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha – was different with the Modi wave sweeping Maharashtra. Ahead of the recent Assembly polls, Raj made a sensational statement saying that he had a word with Uddhav and an alliance was on cards – but that did not happen.

Even though politically the  cousins have attacked each other – as a family they remained together. In July 2012, when Uddhav had to undergo angiography and angioplasty, Raj, his wife Sharmila,  and  other family members were by his side.

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