After losing name and party symbol of the Shiv Sena to chief minister (CM) Eknath Shinde’s camp, the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena is fighting a court battle against the Election Commission’s “biased decision” in the Supreme Court.
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As News18 spoke exclusively to Shiv Sena MP and Executive Editor of party mouthpiece Saamana Sanjay Raut on their plans ahead, he called it a “masala film being directed from Delhi”.
#BreakingNews | Sanjay Raut: EC has not given such decision for any party which they had given for #ShivSena. Was Election commissioner appointed or was brought in the haste just to deliver such order? | @mayuganapatye@mihirz @anjalipandey06 @anany_b pic.twitter.com/pd2HaPelta— News18 (@CNNnews18) February 21, 2023
‘MASALA FILM SCRIPTS WRITTEN AFTER 2019, BEING DIRECTED FROM DELHI’
Raut feels the political situation unfolding in Maharashtra is part of a bigger conspiracy which started post the 2019 elections. “Whatever is happening in Maharashtra is nothing but a masala film for which scripts were written after the 2019 polls. They are now getting direction from Delhi.”
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Questioning the EC’s move, Raut said, “In the history of Indian politics, the EC has not given such decision for any party.”
Citing Prashant Bhushan’s plea in the SC against appointment of Election Commissioner, Raut further added, “Was the Election Commissioner appointed or brought in haste just to deliver such an order against the Shiv Sena?…The EC can’t decide the fate of the party on the number of MLAs and MPs. The party has a large definition and the EC should have deep dived into this. What if all MLAs and MPs who have betrayed us get defeated in the next election? Will the EC give our party name and bow and arrow symbol back to us?”
Raut also alleged that the EC had given such an order to “return some favour”.
In the history of Indian politics, the EC has not given such decision for any party. Was the Election Commissioner appointed or brought in haste just to deliver such an order against the Shiv Sena?…The EC can’t decide the fate of the party on the number of MLAs and MPs…What if all MLAs and MPs who have betrayed us get defeated in the next election? Will the EC give our party name and bow and arrow symbol back to us?
‘THEY BETRAYED US FOR POWER, MONEY’
Taking dig at Shinde, Raut said, “When we joined the Shiv Sena, we knew that this path is not that easy to walk on. We followed Balasaheb Thackeray and after him, we are with Uddhav Thackeray. Those who betrayed us a few months ago had got everything from the party — name, position and authority. Just for power and money, Shinde and a few MLAs betrayed Uddhav Thackeray and the Shiv Sena.”
Sanjay Raut is clear: “Shiv Sena is Thackeray and Thackeray means Shiv Sena.”
#BreakingNews | #UddhavThackeray's plea challenging the order by #ElectionCommission accessed by CNN-News18Catch live visuals! @vinivdvc translates #SanjayRaut's address@anany_b breaks it down | @GrihaAtul | #ShivSena #ShivSenaSymbol pic.twitter.com/zzH54FqhGo
— News18 (@CNNnews18) February 20, 2023
On the question of Shinde camp issuing a whip in both houses of Parliament and assembly, Raut said, “Technically, they can’t issue a whip to us as the Speaker of the assembly had recognised us as a separate group when the party was split. Now, the EC order has given them name and symbol, but our group is separate. We will have to wait till the SC hears this matter.”
With the EC order and the way the party was split, people of Maharashtra are hurt. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has started this game, we will end it in 2024.
‘WE WILL END THIS GAME BY BJP in 2024’
Despite the setback, the party is confident that they will emerge winners in people’s court. “With the EC order and the way the party was split, people of Maharashtra are hurt. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has started this game, we will end it in 2024.”
Raut also said party chief Uddhav Thackeray will travel across the state to meet party workers and local leaders. He will hold rallies and interactions with people.
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