Uddhav Thackeray takes charge as Shiv Sena chief

Mumbai, Jan 23 (IANS) Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, son of the late party supremo Bal Thackeray, formally took charge as the party president Wednesday.

According to a senior party leader, Uddhav, 52, was unanimously elected the president of the party.

The leader added that since it was Uddhav's wish not to be called 'pramukh' (party chief) as was his father called, the post of Shiv Sena 'pramukh' will remain vacant.

After being elected the party chief, Uddhav urged party leaders to focus on the 2014 state assembly elections.

While the decision was on expected lines, the timing of the event was symbolic as the party Wednesday marked the birth anniversary of Bal Thackeray, who passed away Nov 17 last year aged 86.

Bal Thackeray's first birth anniversary after his death was celebrated across state with several events, including blood donation camps and prayer meetings.

As a part of the celebrations, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan inaugurated a virtual classroom programme for 400 civic schools. Earlier this year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) introduced virtual classrooms in 80 schools.

However, Uddhav's son and Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray was not given any post in the party and was retained as the youth wing president.