Maharashtra BJP is Backend Office for Eknath Shinde, Alleges Minister Nitin Raut, Defends Cong ‘Silence’ on Revolt

As the political turmoil in Maharashtra deepens, the Mumbai Police has been put on high alert to control Shiv Sainiks from spreading violence, while the rebel MLAs — led by Eknath Shinde — camp in Guwahati and plan their next move.

Amid the hectic parleys and back-and-forth between the two sides, News18 caught up with Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut, who spoke about the way ahead for the Sena, the Congress being a “silent player” and BJP’s role in the crisis.

Edited excerpts:

[hq]What do you make of this political crisis and by when can be it resolved?[/hq]

[hans]The Shiv Sena has gone to the Speaker to disqualify a few of the rebel MLAs and Independent MLAs have brought in a No-Confidence Motion against the Speaker. There are many technicalities involved. These can only be taken up when the assembly session is on. The strength will be seen then. Every political party comes out with a whip. I believe the issue is tangled now. We have an assembly session on July 18 and also the President’s election. I do not think any decision that can give relief to Shinde Sena can be taken.[/hans]

[hq]Does this mean rebel MLAs need to be present in the state on July 18?[/hq]

[hans]Everything has to be seen through legal eyes. Precedents will be checked and there will a fight involving many technicalities. It will be decided when the No-Confidence Motion against the Speaker will be taken up. Everything is very technical.[/hans]

[hq]The Congress has been a silent player since the crisis in the Shiv Sena. Why this delayed response?[/hq]

[hans]Our leader Rahul Gandhi was called in by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and our party was busy in the ‘andolan’. Now that we have the time, we have begun a movement in Maharashtra. The Congress is not silent and we can see duplication of events that happened in Karnataka and when the Madhya Pradesh government was toppled.[/hans]

However, in Maharashtra, the BJP is not getting involved. Gujarat and Assam BJP, on the direction of the Centre, are providing all support. The BJP in Maharashtra is just acting like a back-end office. In Assam, our state chief has requested the chief minister to focus on flood-hit areas and demanded that Eknath Shinde should return. The BJP has openly come out in support of rebels. This is serial killing of democracy by the BJP.

[hq]Do you think allegations levelled against the BJP are coming late?[/hq]

[hans]The situation was different then as we were busy with protests across the country against the ED grilling Rahul Gandhi. A Maharashtra ‘neta’ goes to meet the prime minister and home minister in Delhi; the Assam and Gujarat governments are serving Shinde with post-holders of Maharashtra BJP handling everything at the Guwahati hotel. Be it ‘suraksha’ [safety] or chartered flights, the state BJP is arranging everything.[/hans]

[hq][Sena leader] Sanjay Raut said Sharad Pawar was threatened. Did you hear any other threats?[/hq]

[hans]Even our leaders were not spared. They called our leader to the ED office for four days, our MPs were lathi-charged and women leaders were beaten. Regional parties too will face the music.[/hans]

[hq]Why is it that Congress MLAs are intact and haven’t broken away to the BJP? Do you believe that there would be no cross voting?[/hq]

[hans]Our central leadership was weak earlier but is strong now. Our ideological commitment is keeping us together. We do not believe that cross-voting is an issue to be discussed as of now. We have kept our cadre intact. Shiv Sena is also capable of keeping its flock together.[/hans]

[hq]With so much uncertainty, have you been able to work efficiently as a minister?[/hq]

[hans]We witnessed two years of Covid-19 and now, when we started working, the BJP got scared of us and was forced to create the kind of political mess we are in today.[/hans]

[hq]What caused the intelligence failure in this episode?[/hq]

[hans]I have no clue of the intelligence failure. If Sharad Pawar-ji has said it, then it must be true as the Home Ministry is with his party in the MVA.[/hans]

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यह वेबसाइट कुकीज़ या इसी तरह की तकनीकों का इस्तेमाल करती है, ताकि आपके ब्राउजिंग अनुभव को बेहतर बनाया जा सके और व्यक्तिगतर तौर पर इसकी सिफारिश करती है. हमारी वेबसाइट के लगातार इस्तेमाल के लिए आप हमारी प्राइवेसी पॉलिसी से सहमत हों.