Till 2019, Raut was one of the tallest leaders for the BJP alliance. All of sudden, the picture changed and he was under constant attack by then the alliance and now the opposition. In November 2019, following the Maharashtra Assembly Elections, there was a dispute between the BJP and the Shiv Sena regarding the seat-sharing formula, the formation of Government in Maharashtra, and who will be the Chief Minister of state. Sanjay Raut was one of the loudest voices from the Shiv Sena to demand their party Chief Minister for Maharashtra. He was not only firm on his stand but made it difficult for the BJP to play their typical tricks and traits. The engagement ended with the abolition of the opposition forces, and a tactical victory for the Shiv Sena to concur the power alliance with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Indian National Congress (INC).
Sanjay Raut stood like a protector to the Thackeray family and their political interest, he battled it out by blocking the path of the pursuers and made a determined defence against them. Maybe this is the reason Sanjay Raut was severely offended by the opposition by peddling all lies. BJP in opposition repeatedly tried to break through the barricades but were constantly disgusted. One needs to realise Raut is Shiv Sainik, mentored by his father who was ardent Shiv Sainik and Late Balasaheb Thackeray the founder of Shiv Sena, he is Thackeray’s mavla (worrier) in a true sense.
Narayan Rane mocking Raut
Narayan Rane is an old Shiv Sainik who tried his luck with almost all other political parties before finding a place in the BJP in 2019. Rane was given entry in BJP with the sole motive to demoralize the Thackeray leadership and Shiv Sena at large. However, his hatred for Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was evident in his attacks. Rane has been a biting critic of Sanjay Raut too and has been unsparingly harsh on Thackeray Raut family and friends. He is often taking digs at Rashmi and Aaditya Thackeray. Uddhav Thackeray did not spare Rane and Sons and from time to time answered them back. Whereas Sanjay Raut known as Brat of Shiv Sena locked horns with them each time, they tried to mess with the Thackeray family.
Rane said, Balasaheb praised him on several occasions, but the fact is that there are hundreds of YouTube videos where Balasaheb mocked Narayan Rane. Rane was never respected or regarded by senior Thackeray. When Narayan Rane was expelled from the Sena, not only did he remain in the public eye but also paraded his grievances before the TV cameras. While Thackeray announced Rane’s eviction at a meeting of Sena corporators and MLAs at the Rang Sharda a hall in Bandra, Rane reacted by addressing a press conference barely a stone’s throw away from the Mumbai suburb where he accused the Sena chief of putra prem (blind love for his son, Uddhav). Balasaheb never skipped any chance of taking a dig at Narayan Rane, he humiliated Rane by calling him Narya and whatnot.
Despite the overdramatic backbiting this so-called rebellion could not manage to seek attention. He then pursued Sharad Pawar to join NCP, Pawar being a friend to senior Thackeray, refused Rane a fortune in his party. Then he bowed down to Congress leadership and somehow managed to get entry, but within no time, he took a press conference attacking Sonia Gandhi and other Congress leaders. Finally, he had no option but to float his own party, but that party did not give him the existence he was expecting. Knowing his weaknesses BJP hired him to open Morcha (verbal fight) against Thackeray and Shiv Sena, assuming that being old Shiv Sainik he might be knowing some inside weaknesses of Both. But the efforts went futile with father and son’s arrests.
BJP is wooing Rane and sons to increase their vote base in the Konkan region. But so far Rane has committed himself to attacks against ruling Maha Vika Aghadi. In several press conferences, Rane tried to tarnish Sena’s image by calling it a violent party, by stating it Uddhav lacks his father’s commendable instinct and recently taking deceits about Sanjay Raut. Whereas Sanjay Raut has grown slow and steady in Shiv Sena, he is a three-time Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra. He was first elected to the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra in 2004, and he has been a member of the house since then. Point to be noted, Raut’s elevation has come from Balasaheb and that’s why I call him a blue-eyed boy of Balasaheb Thackeray.
Raut was picked by Balasaheb when he started his Marathi daily Saamana. He was made executive editor of the Shiv Sena political mouthpiece. He has been writing articles for Saamana for more than three decades now. He was appointed as a Member of the Committee on Home Affairs and a Member of the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Civil Aviation from October 2005 to May 2009 with the consent of Balasaheb.
He was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra in 2010. Appointed as a Member of the Committee on Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, and the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Power in 2010. Again, with the knowledge of Balasaheb. Raut not only earned the confidence of Shiv Sena supremo but also earned goodwill. Today whatever Narayan Rane is saying makes no sense. Raut was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra in 2016, his tenure will finish this year.
Allegations on Sanjay Raut
After Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide in 2020, BJP inclined media channels and celebrities ran a campaign against Thackeray father and Son on a very humiliating note. They were hell-bent on proving the suicide as political murder linking it to Disha Salian another Bollywood entities suicide. Maharashtra government and Mumbai police had to take the brunt, during those days only one man was vocal by defending his party and state police. There were a series of trials against him too for using some unparliamentary words against the hired celebrity activist of BJP. She went to the extent of calling Maharashtra Pakistan, which irked Shiv Sena leader and he called her “Haramkhor” which means, one who wants things for free or with some ill act and doesn’t want to pay efforts to earn them. By calling Kangana Ranaut a “HaramKhor” Raut stoked controversy. To which Raut naively translated as “naughty”, but in actual sense, Kangana was making all baseless accusations for her greed to be in the good books of the central government.
In 2021, a Marathi film producer, revealed in a series of tweets that Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut threatened her mother of dire consequences, tortured her family and trapped her friend who is the brother of recently arrested Pravin Raut in bogus cases. a woman took to Twitter narrating various incidences of harassment. She alleged Mumbai police for doing injustice to her, and all this saga settled when she was expelled from a renowned hospital for submitting fake certificates to obtain the job. She was in jail for a month, and somehow the attacks against Raut were diminished with time.
Recently Palghar police arrested her male friend in a cheating case, later on, she was released on bail. The same person was arrested and booked for allegedly attempts to murder Sujit Patker, the name that is taken by Rane and Somaiya in their press conference repeatedly. When film producers made allegations against Raut, there were a series of media trials by YouTubers and again most of the BJP inclined media portals, but all these attacks went futile because Raut was not much affected. Opposition thought of baking their agendas on this but somehow looking at the merits of allegations they refrained in personal matters.
Recently, BJP leader Kirit Somaiya, who is a chartered accountant by profession, is a two-time MP known for his political activism, and his proclivity for being the BJP’s private investigator, filing Right to Information requests and accessing official records to take on political rivals. Somaiya would constantly target the Shiv Sena-run BMC for alleged lack of transparency in the civic body’s dealings, and dared Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to publicly disclose his assets. Through the poll campaign, Somaiya kept alleging that the BMC was run by a “mafia of Bandra” in a covert reference to Thackeray, whose house, Matoshree, is located in the suburb. On the Dussehra of 2016, Shiv Sena workers allegedly assaulted Somaiya for his comments.
Another of Somaiya’s allegations was that Shiv Sena leaders were using a web of shell companies, listing the names of seven such firms, to launder money earned as kickbacks in BMC contracts. Ever since the two parties split after the 2019 assembly polls, Somaiya has intensified his attacks, questioning allegedly illegal landholdings and constructed properties of a host of Shiv Sena leaders — from Ravindra Waikar to Anil Parab, CM Thackeray’s personal assistant Milind Narvekar and the CM himself.
Earlier this month, Somaiya had made allegations of graft in the awarding of contracts regarding Covid Care Centres to a company owned by Raut’s aide Sujit Patker. The ED had also conducted searches at Patker’s residence and offices this month, in connection with the Patra Chawl land case, in which Pravin Raut, another side of Sanjay Raut, has been arrested and Sanjay Raut’s wife’s name has surfaced.
Sanjay Raut, wrote to Vice President Venkaiah Naidu alleging that the BJP was misusing central investigating agencies to target Shiv Sena leaders and their kin, attempting to topple the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra. Over the past two years, the Enforcement Directorate has taken action directly or indirectly against at least half a dozen leaders belonging to MVA parties. In several of these cases, Somaiya had publicly made allegations of graft against the leaders.
Amid a massive show of strength at Dadar’s Shiv Sena Bhavan, Sanjay Raut then addressed a press conference, where he slammed Somaiya as “an agent of ED” and the “mastermind of the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC) scam”.
To be continued…
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