Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut earlier today came out in defence of his party leader's rebuke against the allied Congress.

He said, "It was the party's 55th foundation day yesterday. CM and our party chief told the people who are speaking of contesting elections alone in Maharashtra, that if they do that what will we do? Will we keep sitting? Those who want to contest, let them do it."

As the Shiv Sena celebrated its 55th anniversary yesterday, party president and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, during a virtual address to party workers, admonished the ruling ally Congress (without naming it) for its repeated call to go solo in the 2024 Assembly elections in Maharashtra.

Thackeray declared that the party will stick to its motto of walking with pride. “Shiv Sena will not remain muted, nor carry one’s weight to remain in power,” he said.

Meanwhile, the party's mouthpiece Saamana on Thursday slammed Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole for his statement that the party will contest the next Assembly polls alone and not as partners of Maha Vikas Aghadi Alliance. The editorial in Saamana pointed out that adding to the vows of the state which is already battling the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for Maratha, OBC, Dhangar reservations, some people have got into the mode of politics, elections and over-confidence.

It quoted Patole as saying that, if the party gives him permission, he is ready to be the Chief Ministerial candidate in the 2024 Assembly elections in Maharashtra. Therefore it is clear from Nana Patole's statements that he will not rest till he sits on the throne of Maharashtra, opined the editorial. Quoting Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar's statement on Patole's remarks, the editorial said that those who will have a majority of 145 MLAs, they will form the government and will decide on the Chief Minister.

"Parliamentary democracy is a game of majority figures. Those who will win the game will sit on the throne. There is nothing wrong with having desire and ambition in politics. But in the end, if the majority figure is not there, then what will walking and talking do?" said the editorial. It further stated that former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis used to say 'I will come again' but he didn't come back to power, adding that his strength of 105 MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party went in vain and the three parties (Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena) came together to garner a majority.

"So no one should claim 2024 from now on. Nana Patole's party is in power in Maharashtra. Congress is an important component in Maha Vikas Aghadi," said the editorial.

It further said that although the 2024 elections are still far away, leaders have already started talking about contesting the elections on their own. It also suspected a conspiracy behind holding Lok Sabha or assembly elections ahead of time.

This comes amid the growing discontent in Maha Vikas Aghadi, especially Congress which indicated that it may opt for fighting the elections separately.

(With inputs from agencies)

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