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We are ‘original’ Shiv Sena, party can’t be ‘snatched away’ or ‘purchased’: Uddhav Thackeray tells Eknath Shinde

New Delhi: Taking an apparent dig at Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday (September 17, 2022) said that he heads the “original” Sena which was born out of social work spanning four generations. Addressing the party functionaries at Shiv Sena Bhavan in Mumbai, Thackeray stated that his party cannot be “snatched away” or “purchased”.

“We are the original party born out of decades of social work spanning four generations,” he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

The former Maharashtra CM said that the attempts made in the past to weaken Shiv Sena by engineering splits and defections had “failed” and wouldn’t “succeed even now”.

In June this year, Eknath Shinde and 40 other Shiv Sena MLAs rebelled against the party leadership, which led to the collapse of the Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. Since then, the Shinde camp calls itself the original Shiv Sena of Bal Thackeray and had also staked the claim to Sena’s poll symbol – a “bow and arrow”.

Both factions are locked in a legal battle in the Supreme Court over a host of issues, including the disqualification of rebel legislators and various appointments made by the rebel camp.

Prepare yourselves for Shiv Sena’s annual Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park 

Uddhav Thackeray also asked the party functionaries to activate the grassroots cadre and focus on strengthening the party organization.

He told his party functionaries that the annual Dussehra rally of Shiv Sena will be held at the traditional spot at Shivaji Park in Mumbai and asked them to prepare themselves for the event. As part of the preparations for the rally, Thackeray will reportedly meet Sena functionaries on September 21.

It is notable that the applications filed by the factions led by Thackeray and Shinde seeking a nod for the rally are pending approval with the Mumbai civic body.