Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) may arrest party leader Sanjay Raut, and alleged that the agency’s ongoing action against him was part of a ”conspiracy” to finish off the party.
Thackeray was addressing the party leaders and workers from Thane district at his residence ‘Matoshree’ here on the day the ED is conducting searches at Raut’s house in connection with a money laundering probe. ”ED guests are at Sanjay Raut’s house. He may get arrested. What conspiracy is this? Shiv Sena gives strength to Hindus and Marathi people and hence there is a conspiracy to finish off the party,” he said.
Thackeray said people whom Shiv Sena helped to grow politically are now switching loyalty.
”Arjun Khotkar (former minister who joined the rebel camp) at least admitted that he was revolting under pressure. (Late Sena leader) Anand Dighe showed Shiv Sainiks what loyalty is when he was jailed for two years,” he said.
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Thackeray said Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari insulted Marathi and Maharashtra through his remarks on Mumbai. ”He has to be shown Kolhapuri chappals,” he said.
Koshyari had said on Friday evening that if Gujaratis and Rajasthanis are not there, Mumbai’s flow of money would dry up and it would cease to remain the financial capital of India. ”What was the reaction of those who have become slaves…It was very mild…just said we don’t agree,” he said in a veiled reference to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who led the rebellion against the party. ”The Chief Justice of India has also said the opposition should not be considered enemies. But when we were allies, we were considered as enemies,” Thackeray said without naming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He said the party needs workers who are fearless and committed to fight injustice.
Shiv Sena workers from Thane under the leadership of party MP Rajan Vichare called on Thackeray to pledge their support to him.
Talking to reporters, Vichare said, ”We came to assure Uddhavji that we are with him. Shiv Sena got its first taste of power when it won the Thane civic polls. Thane will continue to be solidly behind Uddhavji.” Dighe’s nephew Kedar Dighe and Anita Birje, Thane district’s first woman Shiv Sainik, also met Thackeray along with Vichare and others.