Amid NCP Minister Nawab Malik’s allegations on collusion between the BJP and the Narcotics Control Bureau, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut targeted the Centre, saying that a coalition government with Congress as a major party will come to power in 2024, and it will end the reign of the incumbent one-party government.
“No government can be formed without Congress, which is a major and deeply-rooted party in the country. Congress is the main opposition party, too. Others are regional parties,” said Raut. There has been a growing bonhomie between Raut and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, and Raut has supported NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s line that Congress will have to be at the centre in any front or congregation of non-BJP parties to take on the BJP in the next general elections.
Asked about political strategist Prashant Kishor’s reported statement that the BJP will remain in power for many decades, Raut said the BJP will stay in Indian politics but as an opposition party.
“BJP claims it is the world’s biggest party. If the world’s biggest party loses elections, they will become an opposition party. For example, in Maharashtra, the BJP is the main opposition party with 105 MLAs,” he said.
On the upcoming Assembly elections in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, Raut said, “At present, we are focusing in Dadra, Nagar Haveli, and Goa. There is still time for UP elections. We are a smaller player in UP but we will contest.”
Raut also said that for the last two years media persons are not allowed in the central hall of the Parliament citing the coronavirus pandemic. “But the real reason behind the ban is fear that many things might come out if reporters are allowed to speak to ministers who are being asked to maintain distance from journalists. Media was not stopped even during Emergency like it is now,” Raut claimed.
Claiming there is pressure from the Central government on the media and they are being captured by corporate houses, Raut alleged that the Centre only wants favourable reporting. “After a newspaper reported about corpses floating in the Ganga river (during the worst phase of the Covid-19 pandemic) the Income Tax department raided the offices of that newspaper,” he said.
He alleged that industries that wanted licenses to operate were made to invest in media organisations so that they (the government) can control the media.
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