Mumbai : Will the demise of Balasaheb Thackeray unite Uddhav and Raj Thackeray: this was the question nagging all Sainiks at Shivaji Park. Though the body language of the cousins was not that of the good old days, possibly marred by the solemn occasion, they stood shoulder to shoulder accepting condolences.
The Thackeray family started their journey from Matoshree on the truck where the body of Balasaheb was kept. Initially, both Uddhav and Raj were present on the truck. But when it reached Dadar, Raj got down and joined the crowd.
Uddhav took care to ensure that Raj got due prominence during the final rites. Just as Uddhav was about to light the pyre, in an important gesture, he asked Raj to arrange the blocks of wood.
While the police contingent was paying its last respects, Raj broke down. He went to a corner and was seen weeping inconsolably. Uddhav immediately asked Sanjay Raut to attend to Raj and bring him back. When Balasaheb’s body was being consigned to flames, Udhav again ensured that Raj was at his side.
“Uddhav is an excellent organiser and Raj is an excellent orator like Balasaheb, if both of them unite, it will be better for the party and Maharashtra,’’ was the sentiment expressed by a large number of Shiv Sainiks.
Jaidev denied rights
As per Hindu rituals, it was the right of Jaidev, the elder of son of Balasaheb, to perform the last rituals. He is elder to Udhav. But, in his lifetime, Jaidev had caused Balasaheb much anguish by his wayward conduct. The estranged son was rarely allowed entry at Matoshree. On Sunday, he reportedly pressed for his right to light the pyre. But the Thackeray family denied his request. However, Uddhav touched Jaidev’s feet before lighting the pyre.