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Sena’s Sanjay Raut says no deal with Brijbhushan Singh to stop Raj Thackeray from entering Ayodhya

The MP, along with other Sena leaders reach UP ahead of Aaditya Thackeray’s June 15 visit

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Mumbai: Senior Shiv Sena MP and partys chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut on Monday emphatically refuted suggestions that the Sena had struck a ‘deal’ with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh, Brij Bhushan Singh, to keep Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray out of Ayodhya on June 5.  

The senior Shiv Sena leader, along with other Sena leaders including Minister Eknath Shinde reached the holy city to lay the ground for Maharashtra Environment and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray’s June 15 Ayodhya visit. 

Speaking to newspersons in Ayodhya, Raut remarked, “Brijbhushan Sharan Singh is not someone to come under any pressure from anyone… He has his own style of leadership and way of creating a political atmosphere. He is president of the country wrestling federation (WFI)… I know him very well.” 

The MNS’ chief’s proposed visit to Ayodhya on June 5, which has been deferred, had been vociferously opposed by Singh, who had demanded an apology from Raj Thackeray on account of the MNS’ past ill-treatment of north Indians and the party’s regional chauvinism.   

When questioned whether there was any ‘deal’ between the Shiv Sena, which is against the MNS in Maharashtra, and Brijbhushan Singh to stop Raj Thackeray from visiting Ayodhya, Raut snapped: “How can there be a deal? Does not everyone here (UP) agree with the point raised by Singh (on Raj Thackeray tendering an apology).” 

When asked about the Sena’s stance on north Indians, Sanjay Raut, said that across Mumbai and Thane, several people from north India were the party’s office bearers or held other responsible positions.  

It may be recalled that Raj Thackeray’s partymen had assaulted a number of north Indian aspirants across the State during the Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) exams in 2008, demanding that local Maharashtrians be given jobs instead.  

Following the temporary postponement of Raj Thackeray’s Ayodhya visit, Brijbhushan Singh responded by calling the MNS chief “an unfortunate person” who would have done well to “seek forgiveness from UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi” for his actions against the north Indians in Mumbai and Thane regions.  

On June 5, as Raj Thackeray stayed put in Mumbai, Singh had staged a massive show of strength in Ayodhya during which he again took jibes at the MNS chief by remarking that the latter failed to make it to the holy city as he “could not overcome his ego.” 

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