Raj welcomes Bal Thackeray to his party

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray Monday night said he was willing to "walk a hundred steps" for his uncle Balasaheb Thackeray.

Mumbai: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj
Thackeray, who parted ways with the Shiv Sena in January 2006,
Monday night said he was willing to "walk a hundred steps" for his
uncle Balasaheb Thackeray and added that the doors of his
party were always open for the Sena founder.

"It hurt me when I left Shiv Sena. I respect Balasaheb
and will continue to respect him. I am ready to walk a hundred
steps for him, but for Uddhav and his colleagues I will not
walk a single step," he said addressing a public meeting at
Worli in central Mumbai.

In an interview to a regional news channel, Bal Thackeray
had said that "doors (of the Sena) are open for (Raj)."

Recounting his days in the Sena, Raj said his services
were utilised only during the elections.

"I was away from politics from 2001 to 2003. I was
thinking of exiting from politics. However, in 2004 I was
asked by the Sena chief to get ready for electioneering.
Whenever elections were due I was remembered. I was used only
for campaigning. There was no responsibility bestowed upon me.
My only work was to campaign," he recalled during his speech.

Raj said he was given the responsibility of Sindhudurg
and Ratnagiri only because Narayan Rane had left the party.

"It was due to this kind of functioning that I had to
quit the party," he added.

Attacking Uddhav, Raj said when a youth was killed in
Jaitapur in police firing during a protest, Uddhav flew to
Nagpur on the same day but on the next morning he went for
wildlife photography at the Kanha national park.

Voicing his support for nuclear plants, he said, "Even in
developed countries nuclear plants are being built."

Raj also expressed displeasure at cable network being
snapped to disrupt the telecast of his speech allegedly by
Shiv Sainiks in adjoining Thane, and said he had never
witnessed such type of behaviour by activists of the saffron
outfit earlier.