Raut said the Sena-NCP-Congress alliance would fight unitedly any efforts to topple the Uddhav Thackeray government through the misuse of central investigating agencies. “If it comes to that, we shall hit the streets across Maharashtra, the land of great warriors and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, against the brazen conduct of the Centre and central agencies,” he said.
Asked how the VAT government was being impacted by ministers and leaders coming under the scanner of the National Investigation Agency and CBI over charges of extortion, Raut told ET: “Ever since the Maha Vikas Aghadi formed the government in 2019, there have been non-stop effort by the Centre and the BJP leadership to topple the Uddhav Thackeray government by attempting to unravel our alliance and by targeting many alliance leaders, ministers and legislators with fabricated charges and cases. Yet, our alliance and the government stand united.”
Raut held out a warning too. “Maharashtra is the land of great warriors, the land of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. People of Maharashtra have never tolerated the attempts by outsiders to bulldoze our land. If it comes to that, we will hit the streets across Maharashtra against the brazen conduct of the Centre, the BJP leadership and the central investigating agencies, even when the state is combating Covid-19.”
On allegations of extortion raised against senior ministers by arrested police officer Sachin Vase and former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh, the Shiv Sena leader said: “Everybody knows Vaze’s actions are now being dictated by the NIA. As for Param Bir Singh, he should explain why he reinstated Vaze unlike his predecessor in the Mumbai Police who refused to take Vaze back to service.”
Raut said he had read in the media about a Mumbai Police statement that Singh and Vaze had been working together in a very strange manner. “I am sure more truth shall come out despite the attempts by the central agencies,” he said. Raut also alleged a political pattern at work.
“What is being attempted in Maharashtra is part of a larger pattern. The central investigating agencies have been unleashed similarly in West Bengal, Jharkhand and other opposition-ruled states too, with the same intention of bullying, blackmailing and toppling political rivals of the Centre and the BJP.”