'Will attend…': Sanjay Raut after warning to Rahul Gandhi on Savarkar quip | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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'Will attend…': Sanjay Raut after warning to Rahul Gandhi on Savarkar quip

BySnehashish Roy | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan
Mar 29, 2023 01:42 PM IST

Raut played down the Sena faction's absence from the meeting on Monday at Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge's residence.

Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena faction will 'definitely attend' today's meeting of opposition parties and take part in protests against the disqualification of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi from the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut told news agency ANI this morning, days after his party boycotted a Congress-led meeting of opposition parties on the same topic. Raut played down the Sena faction's absence from that meeting - on Monday at Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge's residence, emphasising the unity of opposition parties in Maharashtra and on the national stage.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray faction) MP Sanjay Raut.(PTI)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray faction) MP Sanjay Raut.(PTI)

Also read: Breach of privilege motion against Sanjay Raut referred to RS

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"We will definitely attend the opposition meeting today and will participate in the protest as well. We give utmost priority to the unity of the opposition… opposition is united in Maharashtra and also in the country," Raut told ANI. Thackeray's Sena and the Congress are allies in that state.

"We have already had discussions (with the Congress) two days ago regarding our internal issues. We did not attend the meeting at Kharge ji's residence but the opposition is united…"

Following a meeting with former Congress presidents Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, Raut tweeted that they have discussed on ‘many important issues’ and that ‘everything is fine’ between them.

“Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and Mr. Rahul Gandhi met today. Many important issues were discussed in detail. Everything is fine. Don't worry,” he tweeted in Marathi.

Uddhav Thackeray had come under pressure from the Sena faction led by rival (and Maharashtra chief minister) Eknath Shinde and his ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party after Rahul Gandhi referred to VD Savarkar in response to his removal from the Lok Sabha.

The ex-Lok Sabha MP declared 'my name is not Savarkar… my name is Gandhi' when told he could have avoided conviction if he apologised for the 'Modi surname' comment in Karnataka in 2019.

The comment invited criticism from the BJP and Uddhav Thackeray's Maharashtra rivals jumped at the opportunity to target the former chief minister and his ties with the Congress. Under that pressure Thackeray warned Rahul Gandhi the comment could create 'cracks' in their alliance.

Raut, seen as Thackeray's strongman, issued a similar statement; "It is a wrong statement. He is definitely a Gandhi but no need to drag Savarkar. Savarkar is our inspiration."

Rahul Gandhi was dropped from the Lower House after he was convicted of criminal defamation by a court in prime minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat. He was given a two-year sentence - the maximum possible - that has been suspended pending a legal appeal.

His disqualification triggered a massive row between the ruling BJP and a united, Congress-led opposition - including Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool and K Chandrashekhar Rao's Bharat Rashtra Samithi, both of whom have stayed away from the GOP's attempts to bring the opposition together.

The Congress has held multiple meetings of opposition parties since and there have been vociferous protests inside and outside Parliament, with another heldthismorning.

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