Thackeray was replying to a question as to who he thought was the best prime minister of India, in an interview published in party mouthpiece Saamana on Wednesday.
"When Indira Gandhi won the Bangladesh war, even Vajpayee (Atal Behari Vajpayee) hailed her as an avatar of Goddess Durga," Thackeray recalled. The late prime minister was a "woman who had guts and knew how to rule", he said.
Thackeray, however, was critical of her for imposition of Emergency in 1975. On Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Thackeray said, "He is an intelligent man, but very mild."
Launching a personal attack on Rahul Gandhi, the Shiv Sena chief questioned the Congress leader's ability to become prime minister.
"Who is this Rahul Gandhi? What is there in him? Tomorrow, any school kid will rise and ask to be made the prime minister," Thackeray said.