The Shiv Sena, led by Maharashtra Chief Minister and party president Uddhav Thackeray, paid tributes to its founder Bal Thackeray on his eighth death anniversary on Tuesday.
Sena's alliance partner NCP President Sharad Pawar along with several state ministers, were also present in the ceremony in "smritisthal" (makeshift memorial) at Shivaji Park and paid homage to the Shiv Sena founder. The Chief Minister's wife and sons Aaditya Thackeray and Tejas Thackeray were also present.
The ceremony, which otherwise is attended by scores of partymen on this day, has seen limited crowd as the Shiv Sena earlier appealed to its workers to ensure physical distancing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The pain that Balasaheb is not among us will be there forever. But we are sure he is always with us and will always be there with us and inspire us," Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said after paying tributes to the party's founder.
"…his ideology, soul, Hindutva and his Marathi pride will always be there with us forever," he added.
Raut noted that the country's politics continues to revolve around the key issues of "sons of the soil and unemployment" which were raised by Bal Thackeray 55 years ago.
Sharad Pawar hailed Bal Thackeray as a "powerful orator, cartoonist and political commentator".
"Humble tributes to late Balasaheb Thackeray on his death anniversary!" he tweeted.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on the other hand praised Bal Thackeray for fighting all his life for Maharashtra's pride, respect of the Marathi people and justice for the commoners.
Additionally, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis also paid tribute to Bal Thackeray, terming him as "mentor and Hinduhridaysamrat" (conqueror of Hindu hearts) and hailed him for "having faith in his ideology and being firm on his statements".