Hitting out at the BJP, senior Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut on Monday said that despite all its efforts, it could not topple the three-party coalition Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra which will complete its full term.
In an exclusive interview with IANS, Raut also said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi after tying up with the Shiv Sena has started talking the language of Hindu and Hindutva.
Q. Amit Shah has alleged that you (Shiv Sena) relinquished Hindutva for power?
A. It does not suit the Home Minister of the country to use such language. Pune is the land of Shivaji Maharaj. It was from here that Lokmanya Tilak started the freedom movement. We consider Pune a holy land. People go there and try to tell the truth, but those who are unable to do so, resort to lies. But we have neither betrayed nor deceived anyone, it is known to all. Now we (BJP and Shiv Sena) are on two separate paths in politics. You do your politics, we are doing our own. You (BJP) are repeatedly trying to topple the Maharashtra government and have failed miserably. Our government will complete its full term, and this is a 25-year arrangement.
Q. Leave aside BJP, you have been accused of compromising Hindutva for the sake of power.
A. (Laughing) The answer is in the question itself. If we were Hindutvawadi, then why did they (BJP) leave us in 2014? In 2014, you first left us for power.
Q. You have been accused of making an alliance with the Congress, and the NCP for power.
A. So what if we went with the Congress? Now Rahul Gandhi has also started talking about Hindus and Hindutva. This is the result of our friendship.
Q. Amit Shah has also said that the Maharashtra goverenment is running on three wheels which are punctured.
A. We are happy that our government is running on a three-wheeler auto-rickshaw. This is a vehicle of the poor. The Central government has increased the prices of daily commodities so much that people have no option but to travel in auto-rickshaws, don’t they?