Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut has mocked at attempts to bring together the party's executive president Uddhav Thackeray and his estranged cousin and MNS chief Raj Thackeray.
Responding to the recent 'Thackeray jodo' campaign launched by few Shiv Sena activists, Raut who is the executive editor of the party mouthpiece Saamna said in his weekly column, "if you are a Shiv Sainik, there is no need to worry about those who have run away ditching the Shiv Sena. Only thing you have to do is to unite under the saffron flag and also take the new generation along with you".
Referring to the campaign, he said nobody among those who have initiated it would be able to explain what do they mean by 'Thackeray jodo abhiyan'.
Raut said the proponents of the campaign have referred to the coming together of Mukesh and Anil Ambani in the interest of their business and that the Thackerays also should do the same.
"Who would not like if Raj returns to the party. But it was Raj who had left on his own", Raut pointed out.
"I have seen the pain in Balasaheb's eyes when Raj left. Raj helped the Congress by splitting Marathi votes. The 13 MLAs of MNS have split Sena votes. The Assembly election trend was not replicated in the recent Aurangabad and Navi Mumbai municipal elections which means that the MNS has not gained at the grassroots. Whereas the Shiv Sena's cadre and mass base at the grassroot is still strong," Raut observed.
Referring to leaders like deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal who have supported the 'Thackeray jodo campaign', Raut said it is surprising that people who have quit the party are showing concern about its future.
"These are the same people who have never spared any attempt to attack the Sena,", he said.
"It is good if Uddhav and Raj come together. No one would like that cousins should be parted or the party to be divided," Bhujbal had said.
Raut wrote that Bhujbal's stand was a 'joke' adding that the NCP strongman should reply as to why he left the Sena in the first place and inflicted the first wound of defection.
"You tried to weaken it by arresting the Sena supremo. If you wish well for the party, why don't you join first? You can bring along Narayan Rane, Ganesh Naik and then talk about uniting Raj and Uddhav," Raut said sarcastically.
Raut also said that those who say that the Sena has abandoned the Marathi issue should remember that when the party followed only Marathi agenda, its base did not move beyond Mumbai and Thane since the Marathi speaking people were divided on different caste lines. But under the "Hindutva" agenda, all castes and creeds united under the saffron flag.
Raut said by beating up auto and taxi drivers, issues concerning Marathi speaking people would not get resolved. "It is a long fight and only Sena can handle it," he said.
He also pointed out that Raj Thackeray's party is not fighting against the Congress or the NCP. Its main rival is Shiv Sena, he said.
Sena MP Ridicules Attempts of 'Thackeray Jodo'
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