Pics by Rons Bantwal
Mumbai, Jan 23: In words that indicate that Shiv Sena does not welcome fellow saffronite Narendra Modi's incursions into Maharashtra, Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Wednesday said only the Sena partern will work and the state will not accept "anybody".
"Maharashtra will not accept anybody. States have been divided on linguistic basis. Modi has got Gujarat. Mayawati got Uttar Pradesh. Leave Maharashtra to us. In Maharashtra, only the Shiv Sena pattern will work", he told reporters at his residence.
Thackeray, who turned 82 on Jan 23, made light of BJP's efforts to project Modi in Maharashtra when reporters sought his views on the issue against the backdrop of the public meeting of Narendra Modi and Mayawati's rally in Mumbai.
Modi was in the city last Sunday for participation in a rally to celebrate his victory in Gujarat and the Sena was not not involved in it.
Seeking to downplay Thackeray's remarks, BJP leader in Maharashtra Gopinath Munde said his party was fully with the Shiv Sena and would fight the next Assembly and Lok Sabha elections jointly with it.
In an interview to Sena mouthpiece "Saamna", Thackeray said the Godhra killings and subsequent riots in Gujarat were beneficial for Modi.
Bal Thackeray turns 82
Mumbai, Jan 23: Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray turned 82 today and celebrated his birthday among family members and party workers at his suburban Bandra home.
Shiv sainiks thronged Matoshree, the Thackeray residence in Kalanagar area of Bandra to greet the Sena patriarch. There were 'rangoli' designs outside the house and firecrackers were burst.
Thackeray made a brief appearance before the party workers, waving to them. His son and Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray accepted floral bouquets on his behalf.
The Sena chief spoke to waiting reporters and also released a book on Sena by senior party leader Manohar Joshi.
Those who visited Matoshree to greet Thackeray included BJP general secretary Gopinath Munde, slain BJP leader Pramod Mahajan's daughter Poonam Mahajan Rao, son of the Sena chief's nephew Raj Thackeray and PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal's son Pankaj and nephew Sameer.