Amid demands from his partymen for him to be declared as chief ministerial candidate, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday said he respects their sentiments but has not given a thought to the issue.
He also said he has not applied his mind to whether he should contest the Maharashtra legislative assembly elections, due in four months.
"This is not the time to declare the name of the chief ministerial candidate. I can understand your hurry, but I have no need to hurry. I have not thought of becoming or not becoming the chief minister," he told reporters after a state-level party meeting to celebrate the outfit's 48th anniversary.
"You will be informed whenever and, if at all, any such decision is made. The issue of the chief ministerial candidate will be discussed in the Mahayuti (the 5-party opposition alliance including Sena and BJP) meeting," he said.
"I am not one who harbours this dream (of becoming the CM). I want to realise Balasaheb Thackeray's dream (of Sena governing Maharashtra again)," Uddhav said.
When a reporter asked his son Aaditya Thackeray, who was seated beside him at the press briefing, if he would like to see his father become the CM, Uddhav intervened, saying "If any such decision is taken, you (media) will be informed.
When pointed out that Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut had voiced the demand for his chief ministerial candidature, Uddhav said, "Raut is a Shiv Sainik.. I respect the sentiments of Shiv Sainiks."
"I haven't thought about this till today," he said, when asked if he will contest the assembly polls.
Uddhav's estranged cousin and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray has announced his intention to contest the assembly elections.
Nobody from the Thackeray clan has so far contested an election.
On reports that BJP wants more seats to contest in the assembly polls, Uddhav said, "Nobody has made such a demand (to us)".
"I am taking the party ahead based on the love of Shiv Sena workers," Uddhav said and termed the BJP leader Gopinath Munde's death as a big shock for 'Mahayuti'.