Uddhav, Raj part soon after joining mill workers’ cause (Lead)

July 28th, 2011 - 6:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Uddhav Thackeray Mumbai, July 28 (IANS) Estranged cousins, Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray Thursday came together for a protest march in support of displaced mill workers, but did not share the dias.

Raj Thackeray returned half a kilometre short of the Azad Maidan where the rally culminated in a public meeting.

“Raj sa’ab had told the organisers earlier that he would not go to Azad Maidan. Supporting the cause is important, giving a speech on the stage is not. He registered his support by walking most of the five-kilometre stretch and that speaks for itself,” an MNS spokesperson told IANS.

Uddhav, however, addressed thousands of mill workers who participated in the protest march and supported them, saying that they deserve to be rehabilitated with appropriate residences.

“Mill workers have made Mumbai what it is today,” Uddhav said. “We stand by them during this morcha and will see to it that they get whatever is promised to them,” he added.

Veteran Bollywood actor Nana Patekar, who is close to Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, also briefly addressed mill workers, stating the displaced workers should be handed over newly constructed flats immediately.

Earlier Thursday, the Thackeray cousins participated in the protest march organised by nine unions of Mumbai’s mill employees and supported their demand for free houses to over 1.5 lakh workers of closed textile mills in the city.

Uddhav and Raj, however, walked separately with their supporters in the march. Uddhav walked in front while Raj did so in the middle.

Also supporting the cause were Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vinod Tawade and Republican Party of India chief Ramdas Athawale, who accompanied Uddhav.

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