Times Now interview with Bal Thackeray

MUMBAI: In what can be seen as an open invitation to his politically estranged nephew, Raj Thackeray, Bal Thackeray, speaking to TIMES NOW in his first exclusive TV interview since the Mumbai polls, says he can think of bringing Raj back into the Shiv Sena fold.

Talking extremely warmly about Raj, whose party failed to have much impact in the Mumbai polls, Balasaheb Thackeray said that "whatever the politics, ours is a blood relation" and that one could not rule out a coming together in the future.

However, the Shiv Sena supreme hinted that matters would first have to be resolved between Uddhav and Raj Thackeray. When asked whether the coming together of the Thackeray's under one political umbrella was possible in the future, Bal Thackeray said that "It all depends upon the youngsters today, how they amicably resolve the thing (their differences)"

But Bal Thackeray also made it clear that it was up to Raj Thackeray to make the first public move of reconciliation. When pointedly asked whether he can think of bringing Raj back, Thackeray said that "I will not try, but if he wishes to, we (The Shiv Sena) will accept him back.

Thackeray then went on to say that while people like Raj Thackeray were welcome to return to the Sena, he would not take back others who deserted the party like former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane.

Bal Thackeray also went on to reveal that he and Raj Thackeray are in touch and that they often speak on the phone. When asked if their relationship could return to the warmth of the past, Balasaheb said "Whenever I want I talk to him. And he telephones me. What is wrong in that? Let us not mix up politics with relationships. Keep relations aside and think of politics alone. Definitely, don't mix it"

Bal Thackeray's comments and his open offer to Raj to return to the Sena is extremely significant, especially in the light of the Sena's resounding success in the prestige Mumbai local elections recently.

The Interview with Bal Thackeray will be featured on "FRANKLY SPEAKING WITH ARNAB" on Sunday 18 February at 2.30 pm and 8.30 pm on Times Now


Arnab: You think the party under Uddhav Thackeray is being run well? And can be run well into the future?

Thackeray: I can't say. This question there is no answer. There are always uncertainties in life. Now the Congress has completed around 120 years or something. Do you think that same old congress is there? But it is there. The old charm and that's gone. The new generation will do it. I'm confident about the new generation.

Arnab: Wherever Raj Thackeray goes he still says that Balasheb is like God for me...

Thackeray: Maybe because our relationship was like that.

Arnab: Can that relationship come back, Mr Thackeray?

Thackeray: Whenever I want I talk to him, he telephones me. What is wrong in that? Let us not mix up politics with relationships. Keep relations aside and think of politics alone. Definitely, don't mix it.

Arnab: Do you think there can be a coming together in future? Some people...after these elections people said that don't be surprised that Narayan Rane, Udhav Thackeray, Raj Thackeray are back where they started.

Thackeray: I may think of Raj but Mr Rane comes... he's not welcome...

Arnab: You may think of bringing Raj back?

Thackeray: I will not try but if he wishes to, we will accept him back and not people like Narayan Rane.

Arnab: What is it about Raj Thackeray that you would welcome him if he wishes to enter the party?

Thackeray: Whatever it is whatever the politics, ours is a blood relation... You can't afford to be that cruel actually because of politics. At least it is not my nature. Let us not discuss that problem... it is a family matter.

Arnab: I understand but it is not something that can be ruled out in the future.

Thackeray: It all depends upon the youngsters today, how they amicably solve the thing

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