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Saturday, Dec 14, 2019

CSR funds diverted to build Statue of Unity: Sena MP Sanjay Raut

Claims companies turned down requests from various organisations working for the differently abled saying all the funds were exhausted

mumbai Updated: Nov 11, 2018 23:54 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath
Hindustan Times
Shiv Sena MP and executive editor of party mouthpiece, Saamana, Sanjay Raut.
Shiv Sena MP and executive editor of party mouthpiece, Saamana, Sanjay Raut. (PRAFUL GANGURDE /HT FILE PHOTO)
         

A day after Shiv Sena took a dig at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for giving the masses a ‘lollipop’ of renaming cities in Uttar Pradesh, the party refused to step off the gas.

In his weekly column on Sunday, Sena MP and executive editor of party mouthpiece, Saamana, Sanjay Raut, criticised the Centre for diverting corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds to build the Statue of Unity in Gujarat. He, however, showered praise on Vallabhbhai Patel and said he “walked the talk.”

“Large public companies have to keep aside 2% of their profits for social causes. This money is used for the benefit of the differently abled, women and upliftment of backward classes. But in the past two years, these companies did not fund social causes and the entire amount was spent on the statue. The result: various schools and centres for the differently abled were forced to shut down,” said Raut.

He said various organisations in Thane, which are working for the differently abled, had requested the companies for ₹2 lakh to ₹5 lakh. But the companies turned down their requests saying all the funds were exhausted.

Keeping BJP on tenterhooks

Although the BJP is keen to form an alliance with the Sena before the 2019 elections, the latter has continued to criticise the BJP governments at the Centre and in Maharashtra.

Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who at present is covering all 48 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state, has accused the BJP of betraying the people’s mandate it received in 2014. Thackeray will also visit Ayodhya on November 25.

Sources said the move is aimed at embarrassing the BJP for its ‘failure’ to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Senior leaders in the Shiv Sena said the party will harden its stance against the BJP and take a final call on the alliance after the results of the upcoming assembly polls in five states.