Bal Thackeray launches grand-son in politics



Mumbai: Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray tonight launched his grand-son Aditya into politics annointing him as the head of its youth wing at a Dussehra rally which also witnessed three generations of Thackerays sharing the podium.

Handing over a sword to Aditya to encourage him in his new endeavour--Yuva Sena, the 83-year-old Thackeray at the same time said he does not believe in "dynasty politics" in the Sena. 20-year-old Aditya, who is making his first major public appearance, is Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray's son.

"I never brought Udhhav in Sena. He was made executive president by 'Krishnakunj' person (official residence of his estranged nephew and MNS chief Raj Thackeray). In fact, I opposed it, but all the party functionaries accepted Uddhav's leadership," he said at the traditional annual Dusshera rally at central Mumbai's Shivaji Park ground here.

"The party works on Shivshahi and not poor democracy. You cannot take decisions without asking me. You may call me a dictator or Hitler. But I did not start this dynasty," he said.

On his grand-son leading the party's youth wing, Thackeray said "I will not promote Aditya. If he wants to join Sena he can." He also appreciated Aditya and his young colleagues for initiating the Yuva Sena.

"Instead of criticizing them, one should appreciate Aditya and his friends for doing some constructive work," he said.

Aditya said Yuva Sena wil be an "entry point" for those who want to join the Sena.

Bal Thackeray also took potshots at MNS chief and his estranged nephew Raj saying only copying style is not enough.

"Someone has stolen my style. Now people might say that I am copying him. But that is not enough, thoughts are important. Do you read and keep yourself upgraded? Only raking up the Marathi issue will not help," Thackeray said referring to Raj, who is known for aping the oratory style of his uncle.

Ridiculing Maharashtra Navnirman Sena's Marathi agenda, Thackeray said Raj was not even born when he took up the issue.

Uddhav Thackeray slammed Union Home Minister P Chidambaram for his comments on "saffron terrorism".

"When the country is under threat from China and Pakistan, Chidambaram is not doing anything about it. Instead, he is "looking" for saffron terrorism," Uddhav said in his address at the rally.

"Yes, we have a saffron flag and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj gave it to us. Saffron is the colour of revolt," he said.

Uddhav said it is true that terrorism should not have any colour, but then the Centre is biased on this issue.

Following the Bombay High Court's judgement over maintaining a noise level of not more than 50 decibels during the rally, the Shiv Sena had installed sound barriers in the ground, which falls under the silence zone.

Taking potshots at this move, Thackeray sarcastically asked whether the "sound" was at qa level of 50 decibels or not.

"This is Sena's roar. It will not fit into given decibel criteria. How will you suppress our voice," he asked.

PTI