BIG setback for Uddhav Thackeray, now his nephew joins hands with Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde

In yet another jolt to former Maharashtra chief minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, his nephew Nihar Thackeray has reportedly joined the rebel Sena camp led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. According to reports, Nihar met Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Friday and extended his support to the latter.

It may be recalled that Nihar Thackeray is the son of late Bindumadhav Thackeray, the eldest son of Sena founder Bal Thackeray. 

A statement from Shinde’s office released after the meeting said Nihar Thackeray will start his political journey under the CM’s leadership. Nihar Thackeray, who has stayed away from politics all this while, is married to the daughter of BJP leader and former state minister Harshvardhan Patil. 

This comes days after late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray’s daughter-in-law and film producer Smita Thackeray met with Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, triggering intense speculation that the internal party feud has now reached the doors of Maharashtra’s most powerful family.

Rejecting speculations, however, Smita Thackeray said that it was a courtesy visit since Shinde is an “old-timer” and a Shivsanik. Smita Thackeray became the first member of the Thackeray clan to openly meet Shinde, whose rebellion against Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray with 39 MLAs led to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government last month.

When asked about the rebellion in Shiv Sena, Smita said she knew nothing about it as she is a social worker and not into politics.

“I am not into politics. I know nothing about it,” said Smita, a powerful figure in Shiv Sena during 1995-99. Smita, who was married to Jaidev Thackeray, elder son of Bal Thackeray, was once very close to Bala Saheb and wielded a lot of political influence on the party and Maharashtra politics.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government collapsed last month apparently due to Shinde’s rebellion against Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray with 39 party MLAs. While the Uddhav camp has accused the Shinde-led group of betrayal, the latter said that the rebels were being insulted by those close to Uddhav and they came together to save the legacy of late Bal Thackeray and continue their fight for ”Hindutva.”

The Shiv Sena split last month when more than two-thirds of the party’s MLAs withdrew their support from the Maharashtra government led by Uddhav Thackeray, throwing their lot with Shinde. Shinde was sworn in as the Maharashtra chief minister on June 30 with the support of the BJP.

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