Raut said Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has taken cognisance of the issue and the party has filed a petition before the Election Commission.(FILE)
Raut said Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has taken cognisance of the issue and the party has filed a petition before the Election Commission.(FILE)

Shiv Sena MP compares Jain leader to Zakir Naik, says BJP won because of money and muni

Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, Member of Parliament (MP) from the Rajya Sabha, equated the Jain monk, Naypadmasagarji Maharaj, to televangelist Zakir Naik, calling “poison for society at large”.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON AUG 23, 2017 01:17 PM IST

The Shiv Sena filed a complaint with the state election commission against a Jain leader who urged the community to vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Mira-Bhayander elections to create a “meat-free society”.

Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, Member of Parliament (MP) from the Rajya Sabha, equated the Jain monk, Naypadmasagarji Maharaj, to televangelist Zakir Naik, calling “poison for society at large”.

Raut said, “The BJP won the Mira-Bhayandar election because of money and muni (monk). The Jain leader’s video clip that went viral two days before the civic election not only breaks the poll code of conduct, but is also in violation of Supreme Court’s ruling that disallows election campaigning on religious lines.”

He said Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has taken cognisance of the issue and the party has filed a petition before the Election Commission.

“The language that the Jain monk used does not suit Jainism. He is twisting the teachings of Mahaveer Jain. The entire Jain community should shun him,” Raut said.

He also rubbished claims the Shiv Sena was hurt as the Jain monk did not meet the Sena chief on his visit.

“The Sena chief respects Jain leaders. On several occasions, we have gone to their derasars (Jain temples) and they have come to us. But if someone is trying to win elections in Maharashtra by dangerously dividing people on religious grounds, that entity doesn’t have the right to even utter the name ‘Maharashtra.”

The BJP swept the Mira Bhayandar election winning 61 of the 95 seats, crushing the Nationalist Congress Party, Shiv Sena and Congress. The Sena, which was the BJP’s main competitor in the election, won 22 seats as against the 45 + that it was expecting.

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