Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday asked former Sainik and Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal to join the Sena and get others too who had quit the party, including Revenue Minister Narayan Rane and Environment Minister Ganesh Naik.
“Bhujbal was the first to quit the Sena, so he must rejoin the party first,” Raut said in his weekly column RokThok, in the party mouthpiece Saamna.
“You (Bhujbal) feel the Shiv Sena should get stronger and Uddhav and Raj [MNS president] should unite. First tell us, why did you leave the party yourself? You were the first one to make the move. Raj will come whenever he comes. You make the first move now. You are welcome to come back. Get Rane, get Ganesh Naik.”
Raut, executive editor of Saamna and party spokesperson, was commenting on Bhujbal’s statements that Raj and Uddhav should unite. He said nobody among those who have initiated the campaign would be able to explain what they mean by ‘Thackeray jodo abhiyan’.
“I have seen the pain in Balasaheb’s eyes when Raj left. Raj helped the Congress by splitting Marathi votes. The 13 MLAs of MNS have split Sena votes. The Assembly election trend was not replicated in the Aurangabad and Navi Mumbai municipal elections, which means MNS has not gained at grassroots. The Shiv Sena’s cadre and mass base at the grassroot is still strong,” Raut observed.
He blasted Raj Thackeray saying he was surrounded by “sycophants”.