Rahul Gandhi tweets birthday wishes to political rival Uddhav Thackeray
In an unprecedented development, Congress President Rahul Gandhi sent warm birthday wishes to Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray, setting political tongues wagging in Maharashtra. “Best wishes to Shri Uddhav Thackerayji, on his birthday. I wish him good health and happiness always,” Gandhi said in an early-bird tweet, sending the the internet in a tizzy. Thackeray, in his mouthpiece recently praised Rahul Gandhi for hugging PM Modi in the parliament during the Monsoon Session.
Best wishes to Shri Uddhav Thackeray ji, on his birthday. I wish him good health and happiness always.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 27, 2018
The tweet was soon liked by over 5,000 people and retweeted by another 1,200 twitteratti as it started trending, indicating a positive relationship between the two rival parties. Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis also wished his reluctant ally: “Best wishes to Shiv Sena President Uddhavji Thackeray on his birthday.”
शिवसेना पक्षप्रमुख मा. श्री उद्धवजी ठाकरे यांना वाढदिवसाच्या अनंत शुभेच्छा !
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) July 27, 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon tweeted to the Shiv Sena chief:
Birthday wishes to Shri Uddhav Thackeray. May Almighty bless him with a long and healthy life in service of society.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 27, 2018
Incidentally, earlier this week, in a three-part marathon interview ahead of his 58th birthday to ‘Saamana’ and ‘Dopahar Ka Saamana’, Thackeray had attacked the ruling ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on a variety of issues, ranging from safety of cow versus women, corruption, Pakistan, simultaneous elections to assemblies and Lok Sabha, etc. On his birthday eve, the Shiv Sena launched a new campaign “Chalo Ayodhya, Chalo Varanasi” as the party prepared to tackle headlong what Thackeray termed as “BJP’s plans to exploit Ram Temple issue in the 2019 elections”.
“I shall go to Varanasi, Kashi, take part in the Ganga aarti and inspect ‘how clean’ the River Ganga has now become… I shall go to Ayodhya for a darshan of ‘Ram Lalla’, and pray at the temple,” he has announced. Thackeray has appealed to partymen to refrain from bringing flowers, bouquets or putting up banners and hoardings for his birthday even as thousands turned up to greet him on Friday.