Raj refrains from commenting on Uddhav's 'peace offer'

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 01, 2013 20:36 hrs

Pune: MNS chief Raj Thackeray today refrained from commenting on the possibility of reconciliation with Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, even as speculation about it remained abuzz in political circles of Maharashtra.

Raj, who was here to inaugurate the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Cartoonist convention here, paid tribute to late Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray by drawing his cartoon and recalling his uncle's contribution to his own development as an artist.

Though a sense of anticipation pervaded a packed auditorium in the wake of recent overture by Uddhav to his estranged cousin through an interview in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamna', the latter refrained from making any comment on the possibility of thaw in the relationship.

"I know what journalists want to hear from me, but I am not going to say anything here today," he said referring to an earlier statement by one of the organisers that Raj Thackeray was present at the function as a cartoonist and an artist and not as president of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.

Raj, who shared dais with legendary R K Laxman, who was the chief guest, said he learned drawing cartoons from his uncle late Bal Thackeray.

"Balasaheb used to show me cartoons of Laxman and David Low who was his guru. He asked me to concentrate on realistic sketching," Raj said, adding that his late uncle also expressed his disappointment when he stopped drawing cartoons.

"Why did you stop drawing, he used to ask me," Raj said.

Reminiscing the last days he spent with the Shiv Sena supremo, Raj said, "Even though he was sick, his memory was as sharp as ever, the voice clear and the body posture was dignified."

He said his uncle and Laxman, who recently turned 91, belonged to a "different" generation that symbolised the strength of character.

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