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MUMBAI, Oct 19: Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said his nephew Raj Thackeray's exit from the party was a "huge personal blow" and he was immensely hurt by his protege's decision.
"The grief at his actions is immense. He cannot be compared to people like Narayan Rane and Chhagan Bhujbal (who rebelled against the Sena). He was our own flesh and blood. Everyday I try to forget what he did, but cannot," Thackeray said in an interview for a special Diwali supplement of the Maharashtra Times.
"He was raised here at Matoshree, played with other children. I never expected that he would go so far. I don't know who misguided him, but they did so to fulfill their gains," Thackeray said.
Last year, Raj, who many considered a successor to Thackeray, announced his decision to quit the Shiv Sena and floated the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.
On Raj's future in politics, Thackeray said, "He has taken the plunge in a hurry, now he has to decide his future himself."
Thackeray dwelt on the exit of Bhujbal and Rane, saying the latter left because he was "hungry for power". "He is honest and straight forward, but he was blinded by a thirst for power. He was misled by the two ladies (Maharashtra Congress chief Prabha Rau and All India Congress Committee general secretary Margaret Alva)."


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