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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 81

Mumbai's political tiger, Bal Thackeray takes 'quasi' sanyas

[b]Mumbai's political tiger, Bal Thackeray takes 'quasi' sanyas,[/b]

By M Rama Rao - Reporting from New Delhi

[b]New Delhi, 18 November, ( [/b]Mumbai centric Shiv Sena party's supremo Bal Thackeray has decided to quietly withdraw from active politics citing his 72 years as a reason.

Balasaheb, as he is known, has built the party as a monolith organisation and has been leading it for the past several years. Initially the Sena focused on Mumbai but has since spread deep into Maharashtra with other backward castes (OBCs) as its backbone.

Announcing his decision first at a rally on Wednesday and later in Mumbai on Thursday, the cartoonist turned politician said, "Henceforth, I will function as chief of the party's advisory board".

Over the past several months, his son Udhav and nephew Raj have been handling the party affairs on a day-to-day basis. In a sense therefore, Balasaheb's decision gives dejure effect to the Udhav-Raj as the new face of the party.

Balasaheb is known as the remote control of the government in Maharashtra when the Shiv Sena ruled the state for five years in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP); in fact, he used to pride himself as the 'remote control' of the party.

It is possible even after he takes quasi sanyas, he may well remain the 'remote control' of the Shiv Sena.

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