Mumbai: After a howl of protests from the ruling Shiv Sena, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray on Monday ordered his partymen not to refer to him as the ‘Hindu Hridaysamrat’ (Emperor of Hindu Hearts).
“There are some social media posts with banners mentioning Raj Thackeray as the ‘Hindu Hridaysamrat’. He has instructed us not to refer to him by that title since the late Balasaheb Thackeray is the only ‘Hindu Hridaysamrat’,” a sombre party senior leader Bala Nandgaonkar later told mediapersons here.
Thackeray had come briefly at a party meeting to finalise details for the proposed February 9 procession and rally in support of CAA-NRC-NPR on Monday, which he had announced last week.
The development came four days after the MNS’s first-ever mega-convention in Mumbai wherein several party leaders took the occasion to proclaim him as the new ‘Hindu Hridaysamrat’, besides the formal political launch of his 27-year old son Amit Thackeray.
The Shiv Sena founder-patriarch, the late Bala Thackeray was usually referred to by this title within and outside the party.
Thane MNS President Avinash Jadhav and others referred to Raj as the ‘new Hindu Hridaysamrat’ which was greeted with thunderous applause at the convention on January 23, the 94th birth anniversary of the late Bal Thackeray.
However, a host of top Sena leaders slammed the MNS for seeking to usurp the title of ‘Hindu Hridaysamrat’ and questioned Raj Thackeray’s credentials for deserving the designation in the first place.
On Monday, Raj Thackeray also urged his partymen to accord respect and dignity to the MNS’ newly introduced flag which bears the Royal Seal of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as its symbol, though the new flag will not be used for election purposes.
Nandgaonkar said while the rally will be held at Azad Maidan in south-Mumbai, the MNS was awaiting police clearances for the route to be taken by the procession for the venue of the public meeting.