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Sena Vs Sena: ‘Copyright’ Debate Rages In Maharashtra Politics

Former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray’s warning to the faction led by Eknath Shinde not to use Balasaheb Thackeray’s image has evoked sharp reactions from Shinde followers and the Bharatiya Janata party. “Is Balasaheb your copyright?” Uddhav has been asked. At interactions with Sena rank and file, Uddhav has been exhorting them to stay firmly with him so that the organization is rebuilt after the recent revolt. On his birthday on July 27, he told his detractors, “Don’t use Balasaheb’s image. I challenge you to get elected without using it.” The Shinde faction has taken strong exception to this provocation as its claim of being the ‘true’ Sena will be heard by the Supreme Court next week, beginning a long-drawn legal battle. The Shinde followers are countering by asking Uddhav, “Would Balasaheb have approved your decision to go with the Congress and the NCP? What moral right do you have to claim his legacy?” BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said Uddhav had perhaps forgotten that his candidates in the last election had used Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s portrait on their hoardings along with that of Balasaheb. “If that was all right, what right does Uddhav have to tell others not to use Balasaheb’s image now?” he demanded to know. Mungantiwar retorted that without Modi’s image, the Sena then would not have won any seats.