Shiv Sena Leader Sanjay Raut Says His Party Was Responsible For Babri Masjid Demolition; Remarks Likely To Embarrass Congress

Shiv Sena Leader Sanjay Raut Says His Party Was Responsible For Babri Masjid Demolition; Remarks Likely To Embarrass Congress

Raut also alleged that the Sangh Parivar had no role in the freedom movement, the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, or any other mass struggle.

S BalakrishnanUpdated: Wednesday, December 27, 2023, 09:58 PM IST
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Uddhav-faction Sena MP Sanjay Raut | PTI

Shiv Sena (UBT) spokesperson Sanjay Raut claimed on Wednesday that it was his party workers who demolished Babri Masjid, not the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or other members of the Sangh Parivar. He told reporters that immediately after the demolition, the then vice president of the BJP, Sundersinh Bhandari, stated that the Shiv Sena was behind it.

'RSS had no role in freedom movement'

Raut said the Kothari brothers (Ram and Sharad, shot dead by the police for their role in the demolition) were Shiv Sainiks. He sarcastically remarked, "For the BJP, history starts in 2014." He alleged that the Sangh Parivar had no role in the freedom movement, the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, or any other mass struggle.

Raut asserted that the Ram Mandir, to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 22, did not belong to the BJP but to all Hindus. He stated that it did not matter that his party chief Uddhav Thackeray had not been invited to the inauguration. However, people knew the role the Shiv Sena played in the Ram Janambhoomi movement, with the late Bal Thackeray expressing pride in Shiv Sainiks involved. Raut claimed that almost all senior leaders of the Sena, including Manohar Joshi, Moreshwar Save, and others, were present in Ayodhya, while BJP leaders allegedly fled Ayodhya.

Remarks likely to embarrass Congress

Raut's stance on the Babri demolition is likely to cause embarrassment to the Congress and the NCP (Sharad Pawar), alliance partners in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA). His claim comes on the eve of the massive 138th foundation Day rally planned by Congress on December 28 in Nagpur, revealing ideological fault lines within the MVA. The BJP in the city is planning a "Deepotsav" (Lamps lighting ceremony) in at least 10,000 homes in each BMC ward of Mumbai. Special trains are arranged to take devotees to Ayodhya for the temple inauguration on January 22. City BJP president Ashish Shelar rejected the Sena's allegation, stating that thousands of Sangh Parivar "karyakartas" had participated in the Ram Janambhoomi movement, with many activists arrested, and the Kalyan Singh government in Uttar Pradesh being dismissed by the Centre.

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