Mumbai: The Election Commission is functioning like a BJP arm, said Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Saturday as he launched a blistering attack on his party’s former ally.
Raut said he won’t be surprised if RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav manages to become the chief minister of Bihar where assembly elections are being conducted. The senior Sena functionary also raked up a number of issues to target the BJP.
“See the Bihar elections. A youngster who has nobody's support, his father is in jail, CBI and Income Tax are behind him. A youngster like him creates a challenge. If Tejashwi Yadav becomes the chief minister then I won't be surprised. At last these are the public feelings,” he said.
He trained his guns on the poll commission over Covid-19 vaccine. “During the election campaign, the BJP promised free vaccination to Bihar citizens. The Opposition called on the Central Election Commission to take action against the BJP. However, the Election Commission rejected the demand, saying the free assurance given by the BJP was not a violation of the Model Code of Conduct,” said Raut during a session with the media in Pune.
Raut slammed the BJP for the latter’s desperate attempt to engineer the collapse of the Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra. “The MVA government is strong and stable. Nobody from Delhi says this (Maharashtra) government will fall. Now even the state leaders have slowly started accepting it.”
The Sena MP took strong objection to BJP leaders making visits to the Raj Bhavan, saying that it is not a place for politics. “The Governor’s is a constitutional post and its prestige should be maintained. If any Governor, be it from any state, wants to do politics he must come out of the Governor’s house and do it. The Governor’s house is most respected and we must maintain it,” Raut said in a clear reference to Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s alleged attempt at towing a political line on the opening of places of worship in the state.
On the Covid crisis in Maharashtra, Raut said that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has managed to fight the situation very well. "I would say Uddhav Thackeray has managed to fight COVID-19 very well. If you go to other states you will realise it,” he said.
On the importance of Pune in state politics, he said, “Pune is the centre of Maharashtra’s politics. When Balasaheb Thackeray was there, it (centre) was Mumbai but now all important people are in Pune. Even though some people were thinking this type of government won't be formed but people like me were of the opinion that it would be formed. The government completed one year on October 28.” The Sena MP also heaped praise on NCP chief Sharad Pawar saying nobody should have a problem in accepting his advice. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi used to take his advice earlier, he said.
“BJP state unit chief Chandrakant Patil needs to learn a lot many things. Sharad Pawar is the senior-most leader with experience in the state and if we don't take that benefit then we are useless. Pawar Sahab is our leader, if the Governor is also sending people to Pawar Sahab then it's good, I welcome it. If the Governor needs guidance from Sharad Pawar then I would advise Pawar Sahab that he must guide him as well," said Raut.