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HomemaharashtraAfter almost four decades, Uddhav joins hands with socialist parties, terms it...

After almost four decades, Uddhav joins hands with socialist parties, terms it ‘historic’

Mumbai: For close to four decades, the Balasaheb Thackeray-founded Shiv Sena maintained a distance from the socialist parties – but in a significant political development in Maharashtra on Sunday, Uddhav Thackeray forged a sort of alliance with them in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections.

The alliance is also important in the view of the civic bodies polls next year which include the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Despite political opposition, Balasaheb had enjoyed excellent personal relations with legends like George Fernandes, Madhu Dandavate, Narayan Ganesh Gore, Ahilya Rangenkar and Mrinal Gore.

At a meeting of 21 socialist political parties and groups and affiliated organisations held at the MIG Club at Bandra, Thackeray said cadre is very important and if the political parties have a cadre there is nothing to fear about. “We had ideological differences with the socialists even though our objective was the same. The differences could be resolved if we sit and talk,” Thackeray said.

The former CM recalled how his father Balasaheb Thackeray and his grandfather and social reformer Prabodhankar Thackeray had worked with the socialists together during the Samyukta Maharashtra movement. “Despite differences, Acharya Atre, S A Dange and Thackerays were on the same page during the Samyukta Maharashtra movement,” he said.

The initiative for the meeting was taken by Janata Dal (United) MLC and journalist-turned-politician Kapil Patil – and around 21 parties and groups attended the meeting. In fact, JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had played a lead role in the formation of the Opposition I.N.D.I.A coalition.

Thackeray, during the meeting, was accompanied by journalist-politician and Shiv Sena (UBT) Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut.

Thackeray also used the opportunity to lash out at the BJP. “They never allow their allies to expand and grow. We are committed to saving democracy, we are going to defeat them,” he said, adding that the meeting with the socialist parties is going to be very important and historic.

Thackeray recalled how in the 1967 Lok Sabha elections, Fernandes defeated Congress stalwart S K Patil from Mumbai South seat – emerging as the giant killer. “A similar thing can happen even now if we are together for the cause of democracy,” he said.

“Now I have nothing to offer you because I have nothing at this stage. When you join hands with someone who cannot offer you anything, it is true friendship,” he said.

(Published 15 October 2023, 13:33 IST)

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