Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had likened PM Modi with Maratha warrior king Shivaji Maharaj, recently while addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh.
The Shiv Sena doesn’t seem to waste a single opportunity to hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Talking about this particular comment, Shiv Sena parliamentary party leader Sanjay Raut raked up the Gujarat riot issue over Modi’s comparison with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Raut, who was speaking at a release function of a book on Shivaji and Muslims, said two cannot be compared as Shivaji never indulged in politics of riots.
“I recently read somewhere that UP CM Yogi Adityanath compared PM Modi with Shivaji Maharaj…but Shivaji Maharaj never indulged in a politics of riots,” Raut said.
Raut’s statement was seen as an indirect reference to the Gujarat riots of 2002 when Modi was the chief minister of the state.
Interestingly, the statement was made by the Shiv Sena leader, as he shared the dais with Opposition leaders like Jitendra Awhad and Nawab Malik of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Samajwadi Party’s Abu Asim Azmi and Congress’s Ameen Patel.
Raut, who is also the executive editor of Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Samana, has always been fiercely critical of the BJP, especially PM Modi and Amit Shah. The BJP, however, downplayed Raut’s comments and called it his personal views.
“Whatever he said was in his personal capacity”, reported the Indian Express.
This is not his party’s official stand. Whenever a person of some other party or even our party makes such statements, we ignore them, said Sudhir Mungantiwar, senior BJP leader and finance minister of the state.
Such statements will not affect our alliance as we are together for a larger cause, Mungantiwar said.
“We will come together to keep the Congress and the NCP at bay as the state has suffered due to their misgoverning”.
He also mentioned that BJP wants to continue its alliance with the Shiv Sena.
Shiv Sena has been known to making scathing remarks against his alliance partner in Maharashtra, BJP, whenever it gets an opportunity. Either publicly or through their own editorial, Saamna, Sena has kept the people guessing on which side they would land up during 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Later speaking to reporters, the Sena leader also took a jibe at the BJP over the controversial Rafale figher jet deal.
“Everybody is eager to know how did the cost of the fighter jets escalate by three times of its original price after the contract was awarded to a company with no experience in the defence sector. A sudden blast (statement by former French president Francois Hollande) was also surprising,” he said.
However, estranged cousin Raj Thackeray, had openly questioned Shiv Sena’s tactics of speaking one line and toeing the other. MNS Chief, Thackeray, posed this statement when Shiv Sena did not join in the Bharat Bandh call given by Congress and other parties on 10th September, with regards to increasing prices and harassment to common man.