Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray was stopped by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security today when he went with his father, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, to receive him. Sources close to the Environment minister, who also handles the government protocol portfolio, said his identity had to be explained to the Special Protection Group before he was allowed entry to the INS Shikra, the naval heliport in Mumbai’s Colaba.
Sources said Thackeray Junior’s name was not in the list of the VIPs to attend on the Prime Minister. Sources close him said the minister had played down the matter, saying such omissions are not unusual.
The event, however, left Thackeray senior, deeply upset. It was the Chief Minister who argued in support of Aaditya Thackeray, pointing out that he was not only his son but the protocol minister of Maharashtra and he can receive the Prime Minister.
The Chief Minister later shared stage with PM Modi at two separate events. While Aaditya Thackeray attend one, he did not share stage with PM Modi and the Chief Minister.
Uddhav Thackeray had been one of the staunchest critics of PM Modi and the BJP before breaking their decades-old partnership after the 2019 state elections.
In April, the Chief Minister had skipped the event where PM Modi was conferred with the first Lata Mangeshkar award. The Sena later claimed that Mr Thackeray was not invited fr the event despite sharing a cordial relationship with the Mangeshkar family.
From INS Shikra, the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister drove to Raj Bhavan, where they shared stage for the inauguration of the Jal Bhushan Building and Gallery of Revolutionaries.
The second event – the 200th-anniversary celebrations of ‘Mumbai Samachar’ – was in the evening.