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Sena, BJP pay tributes to Thackeray; Fadnavis heckled

November 17, 2019 19:26 IST

Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was on Sunday heckled by some slogan-shouting workers of the Shiv Sena as he left Shivaji Park in Mumbai after paying tribute to Bal Thackeray on his seventh death anniversary.

IMAGE: Former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis pays tribute to Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray on his death anniversary, at Shivaji Park in Mumbai on Sunday. Photographs: Sahil Salvi

Some workers of the Shiv Sena, which recently snapped ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party, standing close to the former CM's convoy shouted in Marathi Fadnavis' assembly poll campaign slogan: 'I will be back (as CM)' along with the Sena's traditional 'Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj ki jai' war cry.

 

Fadnavis and his entourage, which included several senior BJP leaders, moved on without reacting to the jeers.

There were no Sena leaders, except Uddhav Thackeray's PA Milind Narvekar, when Fadnavis arrived at Shivaji Park to pay tribute to the founder of the Maharashtrian party.

IMAGE: Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, with his wife Rashmi and party leader Manohar Joshi, pays tribute to his late father.

Earlier in the day, Fadnavis had tweeted a video containing some of the late Sena patriarch's rousing speeches, and had added his voice-over as a tribute.

Leaders of the two parties paid tributes to the late Shiv Sena founder at Shivaji Park in Mumbai on Sunday, but evidently took care to avoid each other.

Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and his family members including son and newly-elected MLA Aaditya visited Bal Thackeray's memorial at Shivaji Park alongwith several party leaders.

While the Sena leaders visited between 10 am to 12 noon, BJP leaders Fadnavis, Vinod Tawde and Pankaja Munde visited the place post 1 pm, after the Thackerays and Sena leaders, except Uddhav's aide Narvekar, had left.

The alliance between the Sena and the BJP fell apart despite winning a majority in the last month's Maharashtra elections as the BJP did not cede the Sena's demand of sharing the chief minister's post.

IMAGE: Sena MLA Aditya Thackeray with brother Tejas pays tribute to his grandfather.

The Sena is now in talks with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party for possible government formation while the state has been placed under President's rule.

Asked about this apparent swipe at the current Sena leadership, Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, "We don't wish to be taught about pride. The next chief minister will be from the Shiv Sena."

Tawde, who was a minister in the Fadnavis cabinet, said, "Late Balasaheb was like the head of the family for the Sena and BJP alliance."

Pankaja Munde, another former BJP minister, said, "We do miss Balasaheb Thackeray."

NCP chief Sharad Pawar offered tributes to the late leader through Twitter, saying, "Late Balasaheb created a Marathi 'manoos' who was proud of his regional identity."

"He received unconditional and ever-lasting love from his followers for his politics of putting society first, for his oratory and his straightforward stand," Pawar added.

IMAGE: Former MLA Pankaja Munde pays floral tributes to the Shiv Sena founder.

Pawar, who enjoyed a warm relationship with Bal Thackeray in personal life but was his rival in politics, is being seen as the architect of the alliance between the Sena, his party and the Congress.

State NCP chief Jayant Patil and senior party leader Chhagan Bhujbal -- who was once with the Sena -- also visited Shivaji Park.

No senior Congress leader was seen visiting the memorial, but some state unit leaders tweeted tributes to Bal Thackeray.

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