Bal Thackeray's daughter-in-law Smita Thackarey is reportedly upset with the Shiv sena and has indicated her willingness to join the Congress.
"She is not involved in the power struggle. She wants to move forward in politics. She has not left the Shiv sena, but her options are open," her son Rahul told reporters at their residence.
He was replying to questions on media reports that Smita, estranged wife of Bal Thackeray's son Jaydev, was all set to join the Congress.
She is reportedly unhappy with the parochial politics of the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, floated by Thackeray's son Raj. Rahul said that his mother was out of town and has asked him to meet the media on her behalf, but he was not in a position to reply to all the questions.
While Maharashtra Congress spokesman Hussein Dalwai said Smita Thackeray was set to join the Congress, All India Congress Committee spokesman,Abhishek Singhvi said such issues can only be considered by the party's decision-making bodies.
"My mother is not unhappy with Thackarey, who is not only her father-in-law, but a father figure to her. She has immense respect for him. She does not intend to hurt him in any situation," Rahul said.
"As of now, she needs to be level-headed, so does everyone else. She will answer all your queries when she returns," he said.
Rahul, however, declined to answer a volley of questions from reporters, saying he was 'not at liberty' to say anything more than what his mother has told him.
Smita was the power centre in the Shiv Sena over a decade ago, before Uddhav formally joined the organisation, and was known to be one of the closest associates of the Shiv Sena chief.
Reacting to the news, the Shiv Sena stated that everyone was free to take their own decision.
"I am not going to say anything on the issue. I will continue doing my work," Sena executive president and Smita's brother-in-law Uddhav Thackeray said.
Asked to comment on Smita's interview to a newspaper, Uddhav said, "Let her decision, whatever it is, be announced, then I will speak."