Mumbai: Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut’s purported statement labelling the ruling Shiv Sena as fake and a ‘chor mandali’ (gang of thieves) sparked a massive row in the Maharashtra Assembly with demands for a breach of privilege motion against him, as the House saw four adjournments.
Speaking on the issue, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said calling the House as ‘chor mandal’ would not be tolerated and it was an insult to the legislature.
He urged that it was not a matter concerning any individual party or member but an onslaught on the dignity of the House, the elected representatives, it could set a precedent and in future anybody could say anything and get away.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Atul Bhatkalkar moved a notice of breach of privilege motion against Raut terming it as an ‘extremely serious matter’, a slur on the House, the people and the Constitution.
Speaker Rahul Narwekar said that he would fully enquire into Raut’s utterances in the next couple of days and would take a decision in the matter on March 8, and adjourned the House till Thursday.
On his part, a besieged Raut claimed that his ‘remarks were misinterpreted’ but said he was prepared to attend any enquiry in the matter.
Earlier, BJP MLA Ashish Shelar, Nitesh Rane, and others slammed Raut and termed his statement as a ‘betrayal’ of Maharashtra.
Similarly, Nationalist Congress Party’s Leader of Opposition (Assembly), Nationalist Congress Party’s Ajit Pawar termed Raut’s outburst as ‘wrong’, while Sena (UBT)’s Leader of Opposition (Council) Ambadas Danve said his party colleague’s statement was ‘incorrect’.
Amid a huge ruckus on both sides, the House was adjourned for around 10 minutes this morning, followed by at least three more adjournments, and finally at around 1 p.m., it was adjourned for the day.
Soon afterwards, the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP members staged a vociferous protest on the stairs outside the legislature, and raised slogans condemning Raut’s utterances.
Currently on a tour of Kolhapur for the ;Shivgarjana’ and ‘Shivsamvad’ initiatives, at one point, Raut hit out at the rival faction, allegedly saying that “there is a fake Shiv Sena in the legislature, it’s a gang of thieves”.
Referring to the manner in which the Shiv Sena of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde is erasing the influence of former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya Thackeray, Raut said that even if they are removed from any post, they will not quit the party, since the late Balasaheb Thackeray had given them many such posts and the party is supreme.
The Sena (UBT) MP also pointed out how his party made a roaring success of the ‘Shivgarjana’ in Dharashiv (Osmanabad) Tuesday, and now this will be repeated all over Maharashtra as the party is getting stronger.
The relations between the Sena (UBT) and Shiv Sena have deteriorated after the Election Commission of India (ECI) last month recognised the Shinde faction as the ‘real’ one and awarded it the ‘Shiv Sena’ name and ‘Bow-and-Arrow’ poll symbol, which the Sena (UBT) has challenged in the Supreme Court, along with other related issues.