Mumbai

Making Shinde Maharashtra CM is BJP’s ploy to wrest Mumbai from Sena: Sanjay Raut

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had made rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde the Chief Minister of Maharashtra merely to wrest Mumbai from the Sena, Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said on Saturday.

He further claimed that like other Sena MLAs, he too had received an offer to join the Shinde camp in Guwahati, but had refused to side with them.

Also read:Uddhav Thackeray sacks Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde as Shiv Sena leader

“BJP wants to destroy the Shiv Sena in Mumbai and Maharashtra, but it will not happen,” said the MP, who is being quizzed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged scam pertaining to the re-development of Mumbai’s Patra Chawl.

Mr. Raut said that the BJP’s gambit to install Mr. Shinde as Chief Minister was solely to snare the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from the Sena’s control.

Also read:Shiv Sena is where Thackerays are, asserts Sanjay Raut

The cash-rich BMC, said to be the richest civic body in Asia, is the Shiv Sena’s lifeline and power base and the party’s major resource centre in Maharashtra.

With the BJP under Devendra Fadnavis having scored a major coup by wrecking former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s party and toppling the tripartite MVA, the saffron party is gunning for victory in the critical BMC election, which is due in a few months.

Also read:BJP leadership makes Devendra Fadnavis accept ‘demotion’

While the Sena has held absolute sway over the Mumbai civic body for two decades, the BJP, riding high on the ‘Narendra Modi wave’ in 2017, had rattled its former ally in the 2017 civic body poll, when it snared 82 of the total 227 seats, second only to the Sena’s tally of 84 seats. The Sena’s strength later increased to 97 with the support of some Independents and the defection of some corporators from the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).

This has made the upcoming BMC poll in the context of the dramatically altered political equations in the State a matter of life-and-death for the Uddhav Thackeray faction.

Meanwhile, remarking that he had scorned the rebels’ offer to join their camp, Mr. Raut said he chose not to go to Assam as he is a staunch follower of the late Sena leader Balasaheb Thackeray’s ideals.

Taking potshots at Mr. Fadnavis, the Sena MP further said that it was tough to envisage former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in his current role of Deputy Chief Minister.

“Fadnavis was not eager to take the Deputy Chief Minister’s post, but he bowed before his high command’s order and kept party discipline,” Mr. Raut said.


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Printable version | Jul 2, 2022 9:47:11 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/bjp-made-eknath-shinde-maharashtra-cm-to-wrest-mumbai-from-shiv-sena-claims-sanjay-raut/article65592303.ece