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Raj asked followers not to join funeral?

Mumbai: In what could give jolt to the prospect of joining hands of the Thackeray clan, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray is said to have prevented his followers from attending the funeral of his uncle, Balalasaheb Thackeray.

According to close sources, many of the MNS workers thronged at Raj Thackeray’s residence on Sunday and expressed their willingness to join the funeral procession of Balasaheb, but they returned back after being denied to do so by their leader.

Giving the spin to the speculation of differences between two cousins and depleting the chance of merging the MNS with Shiv Sena, Raj was conspicuous by his absence on the cortege carrying Balasaheb’s earthly body during the Sunday’s procession as his cousin Uddhav was there with his son, wife and other family members.

Asked about this matter, an office bearer of MNS said, “Merger of the two parties is quite unlikely. Our party will continue to work for the cause of Marathi people.”

Striking the antagonistic note, Shiv Sena leaders stated, “Our party will continue to pursue the agenda of Hindutva. We are not excited to see the clubbing of Shive Sena with MNS.”

Raj Thackeray parted his way with Shiv Sena in early 2006 and launched a new political outfit MNS after his differences with Balasaheb Thackeray over the issue of nomination of his heir.

(Agencies)

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