Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray started a two-day tour of Maharashtra's Vidarbha region on Sunday to interact with his party workers and boost their morale ahead of the Lok Sabha and state Assembly polls due next year, a party leader said.
Thackeray's tour comes a week after Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar and eight other NCP MLAs joined the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government.
The former Maharashtra chief minister reached Nagpur in the morning and he will hold discussions with the party cadre and supporters from Yavatmal, Washim, Amaravati, Akola and Nagpur in the Vidarbha region.
After the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly polls, Thackeray snapped ties with long-term ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the issue of sharing the chief ministerial post.
He then formed the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, comprising the Shiv Sena (then undivided), NCP and Congress.
A revolt led by Shinde resulted in the collapse of the MVA government in June 2022 and a split in the Shiv Sena. Shinde later became the CM with the BJP's support.
On July 2 this year, NCP's Ajit Pawar led a split in the Sharad Pawar-led party and joined the Shinde government as deputy chief minister. Eight other NCP leaders were also sworn in as ministers in the state cabinet.
"Thackeray will pay a visit to Poharadevi temple, a key religious place of the Banjara community that is widely spread in the Vidarbha region," a Shiv Sena (UBT) leader said.
His meetings with party workers will be more about sensitising them and boosting their morale, against the backdrop of the split in the party which "weakened" it in the state Legislative Assembly, he said.
#Maharashtra: "The Supreme Court's decision is clear. The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly should take decision within that scope and if its decision is taken outside that scope, we will seek justice from the SC...," says Former Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray after state… pic.twitter.com/O0qyir6AOB— ANI (@ANI) July 9, 2023
“His interactions will also be about how he has been betrayed by the BJP and his party colleagues. It is a preparation for the next year's Lok Sabha and Assembly polls,” the leader said.