Days after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray in a rally slammed the state government for spending Rs 1,700 crore for the beautification of Mumbai, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday paid him a courtesy visit at his residence.
Raj Thackeray had, in the same rally, blamed his estranged cousin Uddhav Thackeray for the split in the Shiv Sena. Breaking his silence on the issues in the party, he blamed the exit of many Shiv Sena leaders from the party, including Chief Minister Shinde and 39 MLAs supporting him, on Uddhav Thackeray, who ditched the BJP and allied with the Congress and the NCP to form a new government.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had on Thursday demolished a dargah in Mumbai's Mahim coastal area, a day after Raj Thackeray claimed it was being built on an encroached land. Eknath Shinde's minister Deepak Kesarkar said the Maharashtra government is walking on the path of Balasaheb Thackeray.
"Our government runs on the vision of Balasaheb Thackeray. Balasaheb Thackeray used to raise these issues and now Raj Thackeray raised them. Due to Raj Thackeray, it came to our notice that the violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Act is going on, so we took action so that no one in future repeats these actions," he said.
Intensifying his 'Hindutva' pitch, Raj Thackeray recently said he will renew his campaign to pull down loudspeakers from mosques if the state government does not take any action in the matter. He also demanded withdrawal of nearly 17,000 cases slapped on his party workers last year when they launched protests seeking removal of loudspeakers from mosques.
The MNS chief, in a recent rally, took a dig at Uddhav Thackeray over the Shinde group getting the 'bow and arrow' poll symbol and also the Shiv Sena name, and said no one else other than party founder Bal Thackeray could handle the symbol.
"One could not handle it and (I am) not sure whether the other could handle it," Raj Thackeray added.