Thackerays all for 350-crore Shivaji statue

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Mumbai:  Balasaheb Thackeray supports the Shivaji memorial project in Mumbai, insists his son Uddhav. Speaking to NDTV's Barkha Dutt, the Shiv Sena leader said Bal Thackeray's comments had been misunderstood.

The Shiv Sena journal Saamna had carried an interview with the Sena chief where Thackeray described the multi-crore sea memorial as "stupid". But Uddhav said it was the "tardy implementation and false promises" of the Congress-NCP government on the project that his father was calling stupid.

Asked if the memorial was aimed at wooing voters before the October 13 Assembly elections, the 83-year-old Sena chief had said, "Yes, definitely. Like the former Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde announced free electricity for farmers on the eve of elections but reneged on the promise. Same thing will happen as far as the proposed Shivaji memorial is concerned."

But the ruling Congress said this statement showed Shiv Sena's double-standards.

Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane said, "Had we said that there is no need for another statue, what a ruckus they would have created. Now they themselves are saying it's not needed. Who are they to tell us it's not needed. It's our wish; it's the wish of the people of the state to have that statue that will attract tourists from across the world. Who are they to tell us? They don't have to come and see it if they don't want to"

While talking to NDTV, Uddhav also spoke about his cousin Raj's campaign against him. Uddhav said he was "sad and disappointed" at his cousin's betrayal and did not think "there was any chance at reconciliation".

Asked whether he would be chief minister if the Shiv Sena-BJP came to power, Uddhav said, "Balasaheb would have the final say. I don't dream individual dreams."

Watch tonight at 10 on NDTV 24X7: Uddhav Thackeray speaks to Barkha Dutt

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