Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday claimed Shiv Sena is the real 'wagh nakh', a tiger claw-shaped weapon, of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and alleged that the BJP has tried to weaken the Sena by "splitting" it.
Maharashtra Culture Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and officials from his department are slated to go to the UK on October 3 to get the revered weapon back.
The 'wagh nakh' was used by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to kill Bijapur sultanate’s general Afzal Khan in 1659.
In June last year, the Shiv Sena split after a revolt led by Eknath Shinde against the party leadership, and it also led to the collapse of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
Shinde then joined hands with the BJP to form government in the state.
In February this year, the Election Commission (EC) allotted the name ‘Shiv Sena’ and its poll symbol ‘bow and arrow’ to the group led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
Thackeray had moved the Supreme Court to challenge the EC's decision.
Talking to reporters here on Sunday, Raut took potshots at the BJP, whose minister Mungantiwar and other leaders are slated to travel to the UK to bring the 'wagh nakh' to the state.
"It is an insult to the wagh nakh, which is the pride and matter of self-respect for Maharashtra. Shiv Sena is the real wagh nakh of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, which (the party) has fought all obstacles coming in way of the state,'' the Rajya Sabha member claimed.
He alleged that by "splitting" the party (Shiv Sena) in an attempt to weaken it, the BJP has made the state a "doormat in front of Delhi."
''What will you do by bringing the weapon which was used to protect the self-respect and integrity of Maharashtra. You have made the state a slave of Delhi,'' Raut further charged.
He also demanded that the Janata Dal (Secular) drop the word 'secular' from the party's name, since it has decided to join hands with the BJP.
The Janata Dal (Secular), headed by former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, last month joined the BJP-led NDA and forged an alliance with the saffron party ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls to fight the Congress in Karnataka.