Sena gears up for rejig replaces senior spokespersons Sanjay Raut, Manohar Joshi, Subash Desai with young leaders.
The Shiv Sena is following the footsteps of BJP by offering more responsible posts to young leaders for taking the party forward. Sena has asked senior spokespersons Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut, veteran leader Manohar Joshi, party secretary Subash Desai and Shwetha Parulekar to step down from their posts. According to sources, Sena leadership was unhappy with the functioning of Sanjay Raut and other senior leaders whose tough stand on the seat sharing agreement had cost the party dearly. There have been rifts between Uddhav Thackeray and Manohar Joshi as he had questioned about his style of functioning. Later, Joshi was booed by Shiv Sena supporters at the party’s annual Dusshera rally at Shivaji Park.
“Even during the Assembly elections, an outrage have been carried out against these leaders on social networking sites for suggesting wrong things to Sena Chief Uddhav Thackerayji,” said the source.
“For bringing embarrassment to the party with their wrong analytical skills and making awkward comments against senior leaders of BJP without supremo’s knowledge with their mortar mouth, leadership was forced to take this decision,” added source.
These leaders wanted the Sena to not concede more seats to the BJP as the seat sharing issue remained unresolved. Both Sena-BJP parted ways and contested the assembly election separately. Earlier, Sena also had distanced itself from the anti-Gujarati editorials published in the party mouth piece Saamna. Sena sources said moves by Uddhav, who is abroad, to distance himself from the editorial may be a snub to Saamna editor Sanjay Raut. The editorial had criticised the Gujarati community of rallying behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi and how they have exploited Mumbai for their selfish motives. Later, Yuva Sena leader Aditya Thackeray had posted that the write up was an attempt to create rift between Gujarati and Marathi community.
Sena has appointed five new spokespersons by replacing the party’s these senior leaders. The new appointees include south Mumbai Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant, MLA from Pune’s Purandhar constituency Vijay Shivtare, party leaders Dr. Manisha Kayande, Arvind Bhosale and Marathi actor Dr. Amol Kolhe.
When asked about the party’s move to relieve senior party members from their designated posts, the leader said that veteran leaders like Manohar Joshi and Sanjay Raut do not need the designation of a spokesperson to interact with media.
According to a senior Shiv Sena leader, by appointing new spokespersons, the party wants to push forward the younger generation to give tough competition to candidates from rival parties.
“By appointing new people, our party is only giving the younger generation a chance to take on the ever aggressive party rivals. There have been many television channels that have come up lately so we needed more spokespersons anyway,” the Sena leader said.
“Except Shwetha (Parulekar), all others are very senior leaders. They do not need the tag of a spokesperson to speak to media. They have the authority to speak on any topic, specially Rautji. He is the working editor of ‘Saamana’ and he is the one who decides the editorial content as per directions of Uddhavji (Thackeray). He is the guide for all spokespersons,” she said.
“As far as Subahsh Desai is concerned, he is the general secretary of the party in-charge of giving responsibilities to every leader. So why will he not talk to the media,” the leader added.