What is the need for ‘Operation Lotus’ if BJP has majority, asks Shiv Sena

The BJP is using the system, power and money, but we will also fight, says Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut

Updated - November 25, 2019 07:30 pm IST

Published - November 25, 2019 12:58 pm IST - Mumbai

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut.

“If BJP has majority, what is the need for ‘Operation Lotus,’” asked Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut while speaking to the media on Monday.

“We know the ones who had gone with Ajit Pawar (Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister), t he operation was being run from a Gurugram hotel. Sena and NCP people reached there and did a rescue operation. The MLAs were locked up, this is not a good sign for democracy, the ruling party is going to all extent. If you had majority and were sworn in based upon it, then why all this ‘goondagardi’? The Governor and people of Maharashtra have been cheated. Today is Yashwantrao Chavan’s (first Chief Minister of Maharashtra) death anniversary. There was a situation in history where Governor told him to swear in and then prove majority, but he said, no, ‘that will not be right.’ What the BJP is doing is exactly the opposite. They are using the system, power and money, but we will also fight. During floor test, we will have 10 MLAs more than yours (BJP’s), we have majority. BJP is using goons, they are losing their minds because they are losing power. Operation Lotus has the CBI, the ED, the Income Tax Department and police. If you had majority, why did you need to do this? We have complete faith in the Supreme Court.”

Also read: 46 NCP MLAs in Mumbai hotel stick with Sharad Pawar

The Shiv Sena hit out at the BJP and Ajit Pawar through its mouthpiece Saamna on Monday with its editorial saying: “The BJP has done away with morality and is ready to go to any extent. But the BJP will not be able to prove majority. The entire State is criticising the BJP. If someone thinks they can use money, power, police to do whatever they want to, that is an insult to Maharashtra. The BJP should not talk about the horrors of Emergency now. Rashtrapati Bhavan and Raj Bhavan were never misused this much. Those who spoke of sending Ajit Pawar to jail are now chanting his name but the people of Maharashtra are saying ‘Ajit Pawar Murdabad’ (down with Ajit Pawar). Those who broke a 25-year-old friendship (BJP) will also betray Ajit Pawar. Ajit Pawar betrayed his MLAs and his party, but BJP will betray him.”

Speaking to mediapersons later in the day, Mr. Raut said, “Whatever has happened in the Raj Bhavan will never be supported by people believing in democracy. The way Raj Bhavans have become political addas and Governors have become political agents is the biggest danger for democracy. There must have been pressure on Ajit Pawar. He must have been blackmailed or cheated. He is sensitive, we have seen his tears, we expect to see his tears [sensitive side] again.”

When asked if this was pre-decided between the BJP and the NCP, Mr. Raut said these were lies spread by the BJP. When pointed out that Mr. Ajit Pawar reportedly told some people the same in private, Mr. Raut said, “He is lying.”

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