Sanjay Raut Accuses Devendra Fadnavis Of Orchestrating Party Split Amid Allegations Of Pending Arrests

Sanjay Raut Accuses Devendra Fadnavis Of Orchestrating Party Split Amid Allegations Of Pending Arrests

Raut, who is the chief spokesperson of the Shiv Sena (UBT), was responding to a claim made by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde that the Thackeray government had ordered a probe against several BJP leaders, including Fadnavis, Girish Mahajan, Prasad Lad, Ashish Shelar and Pravin Darekar and was preparing to arrest them.

S BalakrishnanUpdated: Wednesday, April 24, 2024, 12:56 AM IST
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Uddhav-faction Sena MP Sanjay Raut | PTI

Mumbai: The political war of words between the ruling Mahayuti and the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) peaked on Tuesday with Sanjay Raut of the Shiv Sena (UBT) claiming that senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis split the original Shiv Sena and pulled down the Uddhav Thackeray government since he feared his arrest.

Raut, who is the chief spokesperson of the Shiv Sena (UBT), was responding to a claim made by chief minister Eknath Shinde that the Thackeray government had ordered a probe against several BJP leaders, including Fadnavis, Girish Mahajan, Prasad Lad, Ashish Shelar and Pravin Darekar and was preparing to arrest them. Shinde told a section of the media recently that Thackeray wanted to arrest Fadnavis in the phone-tapping case.

However, sources in the BJP pooh-poohed Raut's claim by stating that the Shiv Sena split because of massive resentment against the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray. Senior leaders like Eknath Shinde and others were routinely humiliated and hence they revolted in June 2022.

"If 36 MLAs of a party decide to take the risk of revolting when it is in power, then certainly the discontent must be very deep in that organisation. Uddhav first wanted his son Aaditya to be made the CM, but Sharad Pawar shot down the idea and then suggested that Uddhav himself become the CM even though he completely lacked administrative experience. Uddhav was sworn-in in November, 2019 and before he could settle down the pandemic gripped the state. Uddhav lost touch of his MLAs and cadres. That was when Fadnavis smelt a grand opportunity to dethrone Uddhav from office and form an alliance government with Eknath Shinde. This had nothing to do with the phone-tapping incident," a senior BJP leader told the FPJ on condition of anonymity.

Fadnavis, in his capacity as the CM earlier had allegedly got the then state intelligence chief Rashmi Shukla to tap the phones of several opposition leaders. Two FIRs were later registered against Shukla, who is the current DGP of Maharashtra, which were quashed by the Bombay high court.

Raut predicted that the BJP would be trounced in the Lok Sabha elections and the new government will reopen all cases filed earlier against BJP leaders and Shinde and proceed against them. "If you can arrest our leaders, then can't we touch leaders of your political party," Raut asked the BJP.

Meanwhile, the BJP is planning to upset the MVA's applecart by getting the city police and the ED to proceed against two senior Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders with a view to weaken the opposition.

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