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Sanjay Raut defends Uddhav’s ‘chappal’ remark against Adityanath

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The tit for tat between the Shiv Sena and the BJP over Union Minister Narayan Rane’s controversial ‘would have slapped Uddhav Thackeray’ remark continued, with Sena MP and chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut rebutting Mr. Rane’s accusations that the Maharashtra Chief Minister had used similarly unparliamentary language against his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath.

In a video clip, apparently from 2018, which has gone viral, Mr. Thackeray, who was not the Chief Minister at the time, can be heard saying he wanted to hit Mr. Adityanath with chappals for garlanding a picture of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji, wearing sandals. According to Mr. Thackeray, Mr. Adityanath’s actions tantamount to an insult to the Maratha king.

“A priest from Uttar Pradesh had come for Shivaji Maharaj’s coronation, and this Yogi [Adityanath] wore chappals while offering a garland to the Chhatrapati. I felt like hitting him with the same chappal,” Mr. Thackeray can be heard saying in the video.

Mr. Raut said, “This statement was made over an insult to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. No one garlands Shivaji Maharaj in Maharashtra while wearing slippers. It’s our culture and tradition and the deep respect we have for the warrior king.”

 

‘Tight slap’

Mr. Rane, the newly-minted Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Mr. Thackeray’s bete noire, stirred the hornets’ nest on Monday when he said he would have given Mr. Thackeray a tight slap for allegedly forgetting the number of years of India’s Independence during the Chief Minister’s August 15 speech. A slew of FIRs were lodged against Mr. Rane. He was arrested and later released on bail by a Mahad court in a high-voltage drama that lasted till Tuesday midnight. Irate Sena workers pelted stones on BJP offices in a number of places in the State and clashed with BJP workers in Mumbai.

Following Mr. Rane’s ‘humiliation’, BJP leaders lost no time in digging out this clip of Mr. Thackeray’s. A rash of complaints were lodged by BJP leaders in Nashik, seeking FIRs against Mr. Thackeray, his wife Rashmi Thackeray, who is the editor of Sena mouthpiece Saamana, and Yuva Sena chief Varun Sardesai.

A complaint said that Mr. Adityanath is not only a Chief Minister and a senior BJP leader, but also the ‘mahant’ (high priest) of the Gorakhpur Math to whom the sentiments of many Hindus were attached.

Rane’s charge

Meanwhile, after his release on bail by the magistrate court in Mahad, Mr. Rane held a press conference in Mumbai. He said he was not afraid of the ruling Shiv Sena. The party ought not forget that he [Mr. Rane, a former Shiv Sainik] had a “big role” in expanding the Sena and making it a powerful force, he observed. He alleged that the law and order situation in the State had deteriorated on the lines of West Bengal.

To this, Mr. Raut reminded the Union Minister that the BJP had lost the West Bengal Assembly elections. “If BJP leaders keep on using such language, they will soon become insignificant in Maharashtra,” he stated.


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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 12:59:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sanjay-raut-defends-uddhavs-chappal-remark-against-adityanath/article36122665.ece

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