‘Had Pawar not committed crime of following Delhi orders in 2014, Maharashtra would’ve gone in different direction’

MUMBAI : Shiv Sene MP Sanjay Raut said on Sunday that had NCP chief Sharad Pawar not “committed the crime of following Delhi’s orders” in 2014 to extend support to the BJP in forming the government at the state, Maharashtra would have gone in a different direction.

In his weekly column Rokhthok in Sena mouthpiece Saamana, Raut said that in 2014, Shiv Sena and BJP had fought the Assembly polls independently. “Though BJP managed to win more than 100 seats, it could not get the majority. While it was struggling for majority and Sena was readying itself to sit in the Opposition, the NCP suddenly came forward and extended support to BJP to form the government. There was no need for the NCP to do this. But the support was given following orders from Delhi and it changed Maharashtra’s politics,” wrote Raut.

Referring to Pawar’s recent statement that “I will not bow before Delhi”, Raut said: “Had Pawar not committed the crime of following Delhi orders in 2014, Maharashtra would have gone in a different direction.”

In 2014, after extending outside support to the BJP government in Maharashtra, Pawar had said that the decision was prompted by the need to avoid fresh elections. He had also made it clear that the party will play the role of an effective Opposition.

Not mentioning the Enforcement Directorate (ED) booking Pawar in an alleged money laundering case, Raut added that “the same Delhi has now attacked Pawar with ED”.

The Sena leader further said politics in Maharashtra was revolving around Sena-BJP till yesterday. “It was felt that Assembly polls would be one-sided but Pawar has hit the ground after so many defections. ED made Pawar an accused in Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank scam. It is being termed as politics of revenge and those who were sleeping have woken up. Will it benefit NCP?” he asked.

On allegations that the government is using its agencies to corner the Opposition, Raut wrote: “The CBI and ED are the two major pillars of BJP’s victory. The Opposition parties are alleging that the Election Commission has also jumped into the competition. These organisations seem to be working to strengthen these allegations.”

“There should an inquiry on whatever has happened in MSC bank. But many people who have lent or taken loans have purified themselves by joining the BJP. Some of them have joined in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. What will happen to them?” he asked.