After reports said that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi will not attend the oath ceremony of Uddhav Thackeray as Maharashtra Chief Minister on Thursday, the Shiv Sena chief’s son, Aaditya Thackeray, personally came to Delhi to invite Mrs Gandhi on Wednesday evening.
Aaditya Thackeray after visiting Sonia Gandhi at her 10, Janpath home, also met former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Sources say both Mrs Gandhi and Dr Singh conveyed their good wishes but said they won’t be able to travel for the swearing-in ceremony.
Aaditya Thackeray, the 29-year-old first time MLA, reportedly asked Dr Singh to help with Maharashtra’s finances and the former PM promised to help with whatever he could do.
The junior Thackeray also said it was a great opportunity to come together, according to sources.
Aaditya’s Thackeray’s father Uddhav Thackeray will lead a Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) – Congress government in the state.
According to Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, Sonia Gandhi has been invited to Uddhav Thackeray’s oath ceremony at 6.40 pm at the Shivaji Park in Mumbai, the venue of major Sena events including party founder Bal Thackeray’s Dussehra rallies in the past.
But Congress leader Ahmed Patel was quoted by news agency ANI as saying that Mr Thackeray had invited both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.
Sonia Gandhi’s approval was a big factor in Uddhav Thackeray winning the support of ideological rivals NCP and Congress to form government after a bitter break-up with long-time ally BJP. Sources say when the Congress chief, reluctant about compromising on her party’s secular credentials, consulted top party leaders about supporting the pro-Hindutva Sena, Rahul Gandhi conveyed his reservations.