Brotherhood above all else: Post split with BJP, Uddhav Thackeray calls cousin Raj Thackeray

'There was nothing political and that the cousins talked of Raj's health'

Mumbai: Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray twice phoned his cousin and political rival, Raj Thackeray for health concerns, according to reports.

The Shiv Sena-BJP alliance saw its end on Thursday over the seat-sharing row in upcoming Maharashtra elections.

Sources close to Uddhav Thackeray, say that in the last week, as Sena was was struggling to find a common ground with the BJP, he phoned Raj, 46. They add that "there was nothing political" and that the cousins talked of Raj's health - he was reportedly sick with malaria and also fell down at a public event in Aurangabad.

While Uddhav's first call to Raj was placed before his split with the BJP was formalised, the second one was made after, said sources.

Uddhav and Raj, who were seen publicly together when Bal Thackeray died in November 2012, have since then rejected all speculation of a political or familial reconciliation.

In the national elections in May, the Sena won 18 of the 22 parliamentary seats it contested. The BJP, powered by a high-adrenalin campaign by Narendra Modi, won 23. And Raj's MNS failed to win any of the 10 seats it fought, after refusing a request from the BJP to sit out the national election.

A meeting between Raj and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari had angered Uddhav Thackeray, alleging that he had not been consulted about the BJP's decision to request Raj's cooperation for the national election in an attempt to avoid splitting the right-wing vote in Maharashtra.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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