Raj Thackeray calls on Uddhav at home, triggers speculations

Mumbai, July 29 (IANS) Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray on Friday called on his estranged cousin and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray at the latter’s ‘Matoshri’ residence, sparking off intense political speculations.

Raj drove down from his Shivaji Park residence to his former home of many years in Bandra East without any aides and was later closeted with Uddhav for around an hour.

Though both parties kept mum on what transpired at the meeting, they hinted that Raj had gone only to wish Uddhav on his 56th birthday which was celebrated on July 27.

It is described as Raj’s first visit to ‘Matoshri’ in over three years, though the two cousins have met on certain other occasions elsewhere.

Soon after he was received by Uddhav and his family members, Raj immediately went to a first-floor room where a picture of his uncle and the Shiv Sena founder, the late Bal Thackeray is kept, bowed with folded hands and paid homage.

Then he wished Uddhav and the duo retired to another room for a tete-a-tete.

Raj was walked to his vehicle by Uddhav and his family amidst lot of jostling by party workers from both sides curious to know what had transpired.

Besides the birthday greetings, there is also talk of the duo discussing the late Bal Thackeray’s will, which has been challenged in the Bombay High Court by Uddhav’s estranged brother Jaidev Thackeray.

At one of the ongoing hearings recently, Jaidev dropped a bombshell on the family by alleging that Aishwarya Thackeray was not his (Jaidev’s) son, after which the court decided to conduct the trial in-camera.

Raj, 48, had left ‘Matoshri’ 10 years ago to chart his independent political journey, but shares a good personal rapport even with cousin Jaidev and might consider intervening in the matter of the disputed will.

Prior to Friday’s meeting, Raj had sent a bouquet to Uddhav after the Shiv Sena’s spectacular performance in the 2014 Maharashtra assembly elections.

In July 2012, he had visited Uddhav at Lilavati Hospital, where the latter had undergone an angioplasty, to enquire after his health.

Two years later, in November 2014, Uddhav recriprocated by visting Raj whose daughter Urvashi was admitted in a hospital following an accident.

Besides, the cousins have met during Bal Thackeray’s funeral in November 2012 and later at his death anniversaries.



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