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Gujaratis forgot favours bestowed by Bal Thackeray on them, voted for Modi instead: Sanjay Raut

SAAMANA : Says voted on caste, regional lines; calls for eliminating MIM from Maharashtra

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: October 27, 2014 12:08:50 pm

The Shiv Sena has criticised the Gujarati community living in Mumbai, claiming that they forgot the “favours” bestowed on them by the late Sena chief Bal Thackeray and voted for the BJP because both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah were Gujaratis.

“In Mumbai, there is a substantial Gujarati population whose votes play a decisive role. Because the prime minister and the BJP chief are Gujaratis, a majority of these votes went to the BJP. They forgot the favours granted to them by Balasaheb Thackeray on the issue of Hindutva. Inspite of staying in the state, they came together for their caste and region and voted against the Shiv Sena,” MP and editor of the party’s mouthpiece Saamana Sanjay Raut said in a signed article that appeared on Sunday.

This is not the first time that Raut has written against the Gujaratis. An editorial published on May 1 had questioned why Gujarati traders supporting Modi had never stepped out of their highrises to celebrate Maharashtra Day. Party president Uddhav Thackeray had distanced himself from the statement and there were indications that Raut was reprimanded for writing the piece.

Raut has, however, specified this time that he was not taking an anti-Gujarati stand. “We are not taking an anti-Gujarati stand. Inspite of doing major work, Vinod Ghosalkar and Subhas Desai lost from Dahisar and Goregaon. In Colaba, Pandurang Sakpal, who has done good work, lost. What do these things indicate?” Raut wrote. All these constituencies, incidentally, have a sizeable Gujarati population.

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Raut also launched a diatribe against the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen. “In Mumbai and Sambhaji Nagar (the term used by the Sena for Aurangabad), the green colour was tossed with aplomb and two MLAs of a religious and fanatical organisation made an entry into the Assembly. The two… got elected due to the division of votes between the Sena and the BJP,” the article said.

He referred to the MIM as a “green snake” and said it needed to be eliminated from Maharashtra. “Maharashra’s politics has seen the ebbing of the MNS and the emergence of the MIM. However this venom needs to be finished from Maharastra’s polity without thinking about political loss or benefit,” Raut wrote.

The article also refers to the ‘threat’ of Maharashtra’s division. “Inspite of elections being over, the sword still hangs over the head of undivided Maharashtra. The clouds also seem to be darkening over Mumbai’s status,” he wrote.

The article also said that the Sena and the BJP needed to govern Maharashtra together. “If the Sena-BJP fought together, they would have got over 200 seats. But that did not happen. The electorate has placed the two at crossroads as to suggest that both should come together and form a government,” he wrote.

Raut further said that even though the BJP managed to win over 100 seats, the Sena put up an impressive performance having fought a lone battle on the issue of an undivided Maharashtra. “Seventeen of Sena’s candidates lost by 49-1500 votes,” Raut wrote.

He further added that the affairs of the state would now be dictated by the Centre.

“If the Sena was given a clear mandate this genuflection before Delhi would have stopped,” Raut wrote.

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