The BJP fielded Union Minister and former Shiv Sena leader Narayan Rane on Wednesday to target Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut after he levelled serious charges against the BJP and the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday. Rane claimed that Raut was eyeing the chief minister’s post. “Sanjay Raut’s attention is on Uddhav Thackeray’s chair. Raut has got a ‘supari’ to remove Thackeray from the CM’s post and appoint himself there. When Uddhav Thackeray first went to meet Sharad Pawar to discuss the formation of the government, Sanjay Raut and Aaditya Thackeray were with him. I have Sanjay Raut’s horoscope. Do I know him today?” asked Rane.
“Uddhavji doesn’t understand that (Sanjay Raut) is undermining him. Sanjay Raut knows that today or tomorrow the CM’s post will be vacant,” said Rane.
However, Raut strongly denied Rane’s allegations, telling The Free Press Journal, “My only agenda is expanding the Shiv Sena.”
Rane claimed that Raut was scared as his irregularities were likely to be exposed and due to uneasiness, he had started making baseless allegations against BJP leaders. “Raut held a press conference with great fanfare. However, at this press conference, he could not produce strong evidence to substantiate his allegations against BJP leaders. His allegations were baseless. If Raut has any evidence of malpractice, he should hand it over to the Central Investigation Agency,” he said.
“Raut is extremely upset over the reply given by his close associate Pravin Raut during the ED inquiry. He is afraid of being prosecuted, as the information of their misconduct is in the hands of the investigating agencies. Out of this fear, he has started accusing BJP leaders in vulgar language,” Rane claimed.
“At the press conference, Sanjay Raut was sweating. It was an international press conference. Raut kept saying that he was not afraid of anyone. The one who is scared, says over and over again that I am not afraid of anyone,” he added. “The advertisement of the press conference was saying that leaders and ministers from all over the state would come. But even the vibhag pramukhs did not turn up,” said Rane.
Meanwhile, NCP Minister Nawab Malik targeted Rane, claiming that when money-laundering allegations were made in the Avighna Park project, the latter flew to Ahmedabad and joined the BJP to escape an ED inquiry. “What happened to that case now? Did ED throw the Avighna Park file in cold storage?” he asked.
Shiv Sena counters Rane’s charges
Shortly after Rane’s attack against Raut, Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut also hit back at Rane, saying he had joined the BJP fearing an ED probe. He shared an old video in which BJP leader Kirit Somaiya had earlier accused Rane of having 100 bogus companies. In another video shared by the MP Rane was seen alleging alleged that Narendra Modi was NDA’s fake candidate, while yet another video showed Rane’s son and BJP MP Nitesh Rane levelling serious charges against BJP leader Kirit Somaiya and against the RSS.
Raut also said that the ED should inquire into the allegations made by Somaiya against Narayan Rane.