Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday appointed Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut as the party’s chief spokesperson and named 10 others, including party ministers, MPs, and MLAs, as spokespersons.
Raut, who has played a crucial role in the formation of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state, has been engaged in a war of words with the actor Kangana Ranaut over her recent remarks comparing Mumbai with Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Ministers Anil Parab, Uday Samant, and Gulabrao Patil, Lok Sabha MPs Arvind Sawant and Dhairyasheel Mane, Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, legislators Sunil Prabhu, Pratap Sarnaik, senior leader Neelam Gorhe, and Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar have been named as spokespersons. The appointments were announced in Sena mouthpiece Saamana on Tuesday.
While the expansion of its spokespersons’ team is seen as an attempt to counter the attacks on the Sena at the state and national level, Pednekar’s appointment hints at the party’s preparation for the 2022 civic body polls.
In January 2018, during a national executive meeting, the Sena had named Arvind Sawant, Neelam Gorhe, Anil Parab, Manisha Kayande, and Amol Kolhe as spokespersons. While Sawant, Gorhe, and Parab continue to be the party’s spokesperson, Kayande has been dropped. Kolhe had quit the party ahead of the Lok Sabha polls last year to join the NCP.
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