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Thackeray dismisses talk of his retirement



Bal Thackeray

Mumbai: Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray has said he was hurt when nephew Raj Thackeray left him to found a new party and rubbished talk of his retirement.

Asked who will take his place and mantle (of leading the Sena), the 83-year-old Sena supremo told ‘Times Now' channel that he failed to understand why such questions were being asked.

“Why should you think that way? I can't understand. Thank God, you are not asking me that question, straight [away], what if I die? Then what will I do? When I die, what can I do? I can't do anything.”

“That is the pressure. Asking such nasty questions, waiting for my death,” Mr. Thackeray told the interviewer.

Asked if his son Uddhav Thackeray, now party executive president, would take his place, Mr. Thackeray said, “no question of his taking my place or this place or this. Do you know when you will retire? Such funny questions [are] not to be asked.”

“I, being a cartoonist, never felt I would be the chief of an organisation. I founded the Sena in 1966 because I did not like injustice done to my people,” he said.

Asked about comparisons between Mr. Raj and Mr. Uddhav, Mr. Thackeray said “Raj tries to imitate me but Uddhav has his own style.”

On 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks accused David Coleman Headley telling a Chicago court that there was a plot to kill him, the Sena chief said, “I have been number one on the hit list and we are prepared for any threat.”

“My patriotism won't allow a foreigner to be a Prime Minister,” Mr. Thackeray said, adding he was not aspiring for a position of power.

He said the Army should be given a free hand to attack Pakistan to tackle the menace of terrorism. — PTI

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