The war over Bal Thackeray's will got murkier today with Jaidev Thackeray, son of the late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, claiming in the Bombay High Court that Aishwarya Thackeray, the son from his former wife Smita, was not his child.
According to a Firstpost report, Jaidev, Bal Thackeray's estranged son, is currently being cross-examined by the lawyer of his brother and the current Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Jaidev has challenged Bal Thackeray's will which does not give him any share in the property.
Aishwarya is part of the will and got a share of property.
To a question about his movements between his flat and the Thackeray residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra, Jaidev said post 2004, he stayed on the second floor of Matoshree whenever he visited it, since the first floor was occupied by "some unknown person".
Asked by advocate Rohit Kapadia, Uddhav's lawyer, who this person was, Jaidev replied, "The first floor was often locked up. And when it was not, some unknown person used to stay there. I did not know that person and when I asked my father, he said that somebody named Aishwarya was staying there."
"Is Aishwarya your son?" advocate Kapadia asked.
"No, he is not. In fact, I have wanted to set the record on Aishwarya's paternity straight for a while now but have not got a chance," Jaidev said.
At this point, Justice Gautam Patel restrained Jaidev from elaborating and the court adjourned for lunch break.
When the court resumed, Justice Patel had a brief meeting with the lawyers of both parties and announced that the rest of the deposition would not be open for the public and media until further orders.
Jaidev had told the court earlier that he moved out of Matoshree in 1999 due to the increasing discord with Smita.
Smita continued to live in Matoshree until their divorce in 2004, and during this period he regularly visited his father during the day but returned to his flat at night.
These visits stopped only a month before senior Thackeray passed away in November 2012, Jaidev said.
Smita has two sons Rahul, Aishwarya and a daughter Aditi.
Firstpost reported that on Tuesday Jaidev Thackeray had claimed before the court that his father wanted him to be his political heir, but he himself was not keen, while his ex-wife Smita had her own political ambitions.
He also alleged that his brother and the present Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had his (Jaidev's) name removed from the ration card in the name of the family.
He told the HC that as far back as 1973, during Sena's early years, he used to accompany his father Bal Thackeray to meetings.
"He always nursed a desire that I should be his political heir. But I did not cherish this and wanted to keep away from politics," he said, during the cross-examination by Rohit Kapadia.
"I was never interested in joining the politics because it is a different ballgame altogether," he said.
To a question, Jaidev said, "My previous wife Smita had political ambitions. I tried to reason with her that we were comfortable in our own way and I had no interest in politics. However, her involvement continued to grow.
"After my mother passed away in 1995, I told Smita we were neglecting our son Rahul...and it was inappropriate for her to meet official visitors at Matoshree (the Thackeray residence)," he said.
However, Smita insisted that she wanted to pursue her career in politics, he said. "I even suggested to her that we should shift to my flat at Kalina so that we can stay as a family," he said.