Uddhavji to take final call on legal route: Vishakha Raut
On Thursday, former leader of the house and Shiv Sena (UBT) deputy leader Vishkakha Raut led a protest at the BMC headquarters demanding back their space inside the civic body premises. Raut spoke to Hindustan Times on the issue, excerpts from the interview
Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) suffered a major jolt when their office at the BMC headquarters was taken over by the Balasaebanchi Shiv Sena (BSS) on Wednesday. With their MLAs and leaders away in Nagpur for the Winter Session of the assembly, BSS found the timing apt for a takeover. On Thursday, former leader of the house and Shiv Sena (UBT) deputy leader Vishkakha Raut led a protest at the BMC headquarters demanding back their space inside the civic body premises.
Raut spoke to Hindustan Times on the issue, excerpts from the interview.
Shiv Sena (UBT) called on the municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal on Thursday and complained about the takeover of the Shiv Sena office in the BMC. What was the commissioner’s response?
The commissioner had locked the offices on March 6 saying we had ceased to be corporators. With Uddhavji being the CM then we had requested for the office to be reopened and it was on March 10.
On Thursday, the commissioner told us that he is no mood to open our office. He informed us that the additional commissioner of police had informed BMC that it could lead to law and order problem. What does police know about intricacies of BMC? We have to take people to municipal commissioner and additional commissioners. They seem to be reluctant. We told him to give a thought. Other parties are also approaching the commissioner for opening of offices.
Why did the party offices in the BMC keep functioning even when you all ceased to be corporators on March 6?
The commissioner had closed down the office and opened only after we requested. Every office has people working for them, those persons would have been rendered jobless if we had agreed to close it down. We kept humanitarian viewpoint in mind to get these offices opened.
Why do you think BSS captured your office in the BMC? What was their motive?
Their motive is to capture all our assets. They did it in Nagpur Vidhan Bhavan too. Now the state legislature has created two offices. Their hidden motive to get our office sealed. I told commissioner to give them another office if they have a legal sanctity. The BSS may have had the information that there was no one in the BMC office and took advantage of that.
Have you briefed your party chief Uddhav Thackeray on the incident?
I was in Andheri when our office staff informed us that former standing committee chairperson Yeshwant Jadhav (BSS) had arrived at the office. I informed our party chief Uddhavji who immediately sent two vibhagpramukhs, Pandurang Sakpal and Ashish Chemburkar, with their supporters. Confrontation took place only when they reached there. Everyone was thrown out of the office by the police.
Former mayor Kishori Pednekar, who is heading the party in BMC, seems to be missing from the protest?
Yes. We informed her too. She is in Rajasthan and she will be coming back to the city on Friday.
Are you planning to approach the courts against the takeover?
Uddhavji will take the final call.
Two former corporators of the Shiv Sena were there when the BSS office bearers stormed the office to take over the office, what was their reaction?
Sachin Padwal and Shrikant Shende were in the office when BSS members reached the office. They could not retaliate and I don’t why they couldn’t. They did not even inform us. The office staff informed us about us about the trouble.