Two days after MNS chief Raj Thackeray met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in connection with inflated electricity bills received by state residents, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Saturday said Thackeray has “insulted Maharashtra”. The MNS hit back, saying the Sena should introspect on the “number of times it has insulted Maharashtra.”
At an interaction with journalists at Patrakar Bhavan in Pune on Saturday, Raut said, “The state has an elected government in place. Therefore, to resolve any public grievance one should first meet the concerned minister and then the chief minister. However, to meet the governor first to resolve public issues is an affront to Maharashtra.”
Raj Thackeray had met the Governor on Thursday and complained to him about the inflated bills sent to power consumers by the MSEDCL.
“The chief minister is elected by the people but the governor is appointed by the Centre, his expenditure is borne by the state but he doesn’t have powers like the chief minister to respond to public grievances. To meet the governor and seek redressal from him on public issues amounts to insulting Maharashtra,” said Raut.
When informed that the governor has asked Raj Thackeray to approach NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Raut said, “That is good… This also means that the governor and BJP leaders also acknowledge Pawar as their leader. If they need guidance, I will tell Pawar saheb.”
Speaking about the role of Pawar, Raut said, “When three parties come together, they seek the guidance of the senior-most leader. During the BJP-Sena rule in Maharashtra, they used to take the guidance of Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray. Earlier, Mumbai was the power centre, now Pune is the power centre. If Pawar is giving guidance to the government, there is no reason why anyone should get a stomach ache. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes Pawar’s advice. Pawar is an experienced leader. If we do not take his guidance, then it will be most unfortunate.”
Raut told The Indian Express that had Raj Thackeray approached the CM, he would have been more than happy to take up the issue. “When Amit Thackeray had raised the issue of Aarey car shed, Aditya Thackeray and Uddhav Thackeray had themselves taken the initiative to resolve the problem,” said Raut.
“To meet the governor and not the CM is BJP’s agenda….others should not follow BJP’s agenda,” said the Sena MP.
Responding to Raut’s arguments, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said, “Uddhav Thackeray is the chief minister only by name. Sharad Pawar actually runs the government. And Raut has confirmed that Pawar is actually running the government.”
Patil claimed that the chief minister has failed to resolve any of the issues faced by state residents such as inflated power bills, Maratha reservation, Dhangar community reservation and damage to crop due to excess rain. “Residents of the state think that the chief minister can’t resolve any of their problems. And therefore, each one of them is rushing to the governor to seek redressal for their grievances…,” he said.
MNS, meanwhile, tweeted a picture of Raut with Koshyari with the caption, ‘Sanjay Raut himself insulting Maharashtra’. Responding to this, Raut told The Indian Express, “The governor is my friend…I had gone to him… with folded hands to applaud all his mistakes.”
MNS spokesperson Sandeep Deshpande said, “The Sena should not teach us what is an insult and what’s not one …The Sena should introspect on the number of times it has insulted Maharashtra. It sang paeans to Uttar Pradesh…when we raised the issue of jobs of Marathi manoos and were lathi-charged by police, the Sainiks were hiding… They have been lying repeatedly and doing somersaults on every issue concerning Maharashtra.”
Reminding Raut about a statement by Uddhav Thackeray, Deshpande said, “Who said ‘Afzal Khan ki fauj’ and then formed a government with the same people in Maharashtra? The Sena has been trampling on the principles and values of Balasaheb Thackeray.”
Meanwhile, on actor Kangana Ranaut, Raut said, “There is no need to give her any importance. She now has police complaints against her, she is a suspect, police have issued summons to her. She should present herself before the police.”
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