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'Sanjay Raut is The Goebbels of Uddhav Thackeray': Ram Madhav Compares Sena Leader to Hitler's Propaganda Minister

File photo of senior BJP leader Ram Madhav.

File photo of senior BJP leader Ram Madhav.

Reiterating BJP chief Amit Shah’s remarks, Madhav said the BJP has always been clear on its stand that Devendra Fadnavis is their leader of the ‘Mahayuti’ (grand alliance).

New Delhi: Taking a swipe at senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav on Thursday described him as the “Joseph Goebbels of [party chief] Uddhav Thackeray”. He made the comment in an exclusive interview to CNN-News18’s Anand Narasimhan.

Goebbels was German dictator Adolf Hitler’s minister of propaganda when the Nazi Party was in power.

Like Goebbels, Raut is a fierce party loyalist – he is also the voice behind the Sena’s mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ and enjoys the implicit trust of the Thackeray family.

The Rajya Sabha MP was also the first to project Aaditya Thackeray as the alliance’s chief ministerial candidate. It was Raut who said that Shiv Sainiks and Maharashtra wanted to see Aaditya Thackeray on the sixth floor of the Secretariat (indicating the office of the chief minister) on the day the Thackeray scion filed his nomination from Worli.

The Sena until then had never spoken about the chief minister’s post. Aaditya Thackeray had also played down his chief ministerial aspirations while speaking to CNN-News18.

Madhav on Thursday accused Raut of lying over the seat-sharing agreement with the BJP.

“Sanjay Raut is Mr Uddhav’s Goebbels. He can continue to peddle lies but we aren’t living in Germany,” said Madhav. “It is India. You are dealing with a different leadership here. These are all total lies, our leader has categorically said.”

Madhav’s remarks came a day after BJP President and Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed surprise at the Sena’s demand for 50-50 power. Shah on Wednesday had said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and him had publicly projected Devendra Fadnavis as the chief ministerial face of the BJP were the alliance to win the Maharashtra elections.

When asked if there is a possibility of the Sena's return to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the future, Madhav said, “Personally, I don’t think so. After all this, they started calling our leaders names and all that. If there is any possibility of rapprochment, I don’t think so. But I am not directly involved in Maharashtra party affairs. So, I don’t want to say anything further, but I don’t see anything like that happening. In any case, Sena isn’t even indicating any such thing.

Reiterating Shah’s remarks, Madhav said the BJP has always been clear on its stand that Fadnavis is their leader of the ‘Mahayuti’ (grand alliance). Madhav said even Modi had said the same at an election rally in Mumbai on October 18, with Uddhav Thackeray present on the dais. Madhav said it is the Sena that has been constantly shifting the goalpost and making fresh demands.

Maharashtra has been in political limbo after the Assembly election results were announced last month — the BJP won 105 seats and its ally won 56. Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) won 54 and the Congress 48 in the 288-member House. The BJP was unable to touch the halfway-mark on its own.

The instability was further compounded after the Sena snapped ties with the BJP following the rejection of its demands for a rotational chief ministerial post.

Leaders of both parties have accused each other of lying over promises made ahead of the Lok Sabha elections this year. While the Sena has maintained there was an agreement to share 50-50 power with the BJP from before the general elections, the saffron party has said no pact was in place.

In its aftermath, President’s rule was imposed in the state on Tuesday, with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s report to the Centre saying the formation of a stable government was impossible in the current situation. Koshyari had invited the three largest political parties — the BJP, Sena and the NCP — to put forth their claim to form the government, but all three had expressed their inability.

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