Shiv Sena name, symbol sold for Rs. 2,000cr: Sanjay Raut
Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) MP Sanjay Raut alleged on Sunday that a Rs. 2,000 crore transaction took place to buy the name and "bow and arrow" symbol of the Shiv Sena. He also asserted he has proof to back his claim and will disclose it soon. This came after the Sena faction led by CM Eknath Shinde was allotted the symbol and name.
Why does this story matter?
- Raut's claims came a couple of days after the Election Commission of India (ECI) allotted the name and "bow and arrow" symbol of the Shiv Sena to the party's faction led by Maharashtra CM Shinde.
- To recall, two factions emerged in the party when Shinde staged a coup in June last year. The party was split between the supporters of Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray.
Election Commission's decision was bought, claims Raut
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Raut said the way the ECI identified the faction led by Shinde as the real Shiv Sena was "business" and "not justice." "And so far a transaction of Rs. 2,000 crore has happened in that case. This is my primary guess. This is my FIR. This decision was bought," Hindustan Times quoted the 61-year-old Sena leader as saying.
More on Raut's 'Sena deal' allegations
"The government, the leader, and the group of unscrupulous people that puts a price of Rs. 50 crore to buy an MLA, bids Rs. 100 crore to buy a member of Parliament, bids Rs. 1 crore to buy our councilor and shakha pramukh, you can guess how much they can bid to buy the party symbol and party name," the Rajya Sabha MP said.
Video of Raut's media address
Here's how Shinde faction reacted to Raut's claims
Meanwhile, Maharashtra MLA Sada Sarvankar (Shinde faction) reacted to Raut's claims and dismissed Raut's allegations. He asked, "Is Sanjay Raut a cashier?" Raut posted his claims on Twitter in Marathi and Hindi, saying, "Soon, many things will be revealed. This has never happened in the history of the country." He claimed a builder close to the ruling Sena faction shared the information with him.
Take a look at what Raut tweeted
BJP leader reacts to Raut's claims
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National Spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla also reacted to Raut's claims and said he had become Maharashtra's Rahul Gandhi. "Sanjay Raut has now become the Rahul Gandhi of Maharashtra & has reduced Uddhav Sena to a Congress style party that abuses & insults Babasaheb Ambedkar's Constitutional institutions like ECI by making scurrilous allegations when the verdict goes against them! Shameful," he tweeted.
Poonawalla's tweet on the issue
Know about the feud between Sena factions
On Friday, the Election Commission ruled the Shinde-led Sena faction was the real Shiv Sena as opposed to the one led by Thackeray. To recall, Shinde and 40 rebel MLAs quit the Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in June last year. This breakaway had massive repercussions as the rebels allied with the BJP to form the state government, bringing down the MVA government.
Result of Shiv Sena's split in Maharashtra
Following the Shiv Sena split, a new coalition led by the Shinde faction and the BJP came to power in Maharashtra. While Shinde became the chief minister, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis was named as the deputy chief minister of the state.