Shiv Sena is where Thackerays are, asserts Sanjay Raut

‘A group split from the Sena has formed the government with the BJP,’ says the Rajya Sabha MP

Published - July 01, 2022 01:50 pm IST - Mumbai

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut. File photo

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut. File photo | Photo Credit: PTI

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Friday, July 1, 2022, said a new government in Maharashtra under Eknath Shinde has been formed by the BJP with a group of MLAs that split the party, and asserted that the Sena is where the Thackerays are.

Taking a dig at Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Mr. Raut said had the BJP stuck to its word in 2019, it could have had the CM's post for two-and-a-half years and the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) experiment involving his party, the NCP and the Congress would not have taken place.

“What has the BJP achieved, “ Mr. Raut asked after Mr. Fadnavis took charge as the Deputy Chief Minister.

"We will try to expand our party under Uddhav Thackeray. A group split from the Sena has formed the government with the BJP," Mr. Raut told reporters.

He was responding to a question whether the new government under Eknath Shinde is a Shiv Sena-BJP government.

Mr. Raut stressed that Mr. Shinde's move of splitting the Sena will not weaken the party.

Springing a surprise, Mr. Fadnavis on Thursday, June 30, 2022, announced that Eknath Shinde, who is leading the rebel Sena MLAs group, will be the chief minister. Shinde's rebellion not only pulled down the Uddhav Thackeray-led government, but it has also engineered a split in the party.

"Shiv Sena is where the Thackerays are," Raut added.

On Mr. Shinde's comment that Fadnavis has shown a big heart by making him the Chief Minister despite the BJP having more numbers than the rebel group, Mr. Raut said, the newly-appointed Chief Minister's definition of a big heart may be different.

Extending good wishes to the new government, Mr. Raut said Mr. Shinde, who began his political career in the Sena, and Mr. Fadnavis should together address the problems related to agriculture, unemployment.

"While doing so, they should ensure that the administration and police machinery function without any bias," he noted.

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