Cabinet Minister and Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray, who is on a visit to the Konkan region of Maharashtra, has for the first time reacted to reports about the mention of a ‘Matoshree’ (also the name of the Thackeray residence) in Shiv Sena leader and former Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) standing committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav’s diary which was purportedly recovered by Income Tax officials during a raid.
Responding to a question from reporters, Mr Thackeray said, “We have to decide how much to believe these rumours. Defamation is being done by spreading rumours, the system is being used. It’s a political conspiracy. This dirty politics must stop.”
The Thackeray family lives in Kalanangar in the Bandra suburb of Mumbai and their family home is called ‘Matoshree’. The word Matoshree is often used by Sainiks (Shiv Sena workers) to refer to the top leadership of the party. Literally, the word means ‘Mother’.
The BJP is trying to corner the Shiv Sena on this issue and has been taking potshots using the media reports about the diary. The Income Tax department has made no mention of the diary anywhere so far.
The Income Tax department had last month raided the house of Shiv Sena leader and former BMC standing committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav. Reports had suggested that a large amount of cash was also recovered during these raids. While there has been no official communication on the seizures, several media outlets carried reports saying a diary was recovered from Yashwant Jadhav’s house and the purported diary mentions that Matoshree was given Rs 2 crore and a watch worth Rs 50 lakh. Mr Jadhav reportedly told Income Tax officials that ‘Matoshree’ refers to his mother.
On the question of the possibility of the Shiv Sena re-aligning with the BJP in the future, Aaditya Thackeray said, “You decide what will you do if someone harasses you unnecessarily.”
Recently, Ajit Pawar, Deputy Chief Minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government had made a statement that there is no permanent enemy or friend in politics, sparking off speculation about a political realignment in the state.