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Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut takes 'dancer' jibe at BJP Amravati Lok Sabha candidate Rana

Rana, an actor-turned-politician, was elected from Amravati in eastern Maharashtra as an independent in 2019 and she is now contesting from the same constituency on a BJP ticket.
Last Updated : 18 April 2024, 19:18 IST
Last Updated : 18 April 2024, 19:18 IST

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Mumbai/Amravati: Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday triggered a controversy by calling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Amravati Lok Sabha seat Navneet Rana a "dancer".

Rana, an actor-turned-politician, was elected from Amravati in eastern Maharashtra as an independent in 2019 and she is now contesting from the same constituency on a BJP ticket.

"The Lok Sabha election is a contest not against a dancer or 'babli' (a con character in a Hindi film) but a fight between Maharashtra and Modi. She is a dancer, an actor on the screen who will mark some affectionate gestures, but do not fall for that trap," Raut said.

The Shiv Sena (UBT) Rajya Sabha MP made the controversial comments while addressing a campaign rally in Amaravati in support of Congress candidate Balwant Wankhede, who is pitted against Rana.

The Shiv Sena (UBT) is an ally of the Congress. Raut, a vocal critic of the BJP, asked voters to defeat Rana.

"She tried to enter 'Matoshri' (residence of Sena-UBT chief Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai) by force (during an agitation in 2022). She challenged us and use foul language for Hindu religion. It is the primary duty and moral obligation of Shiv Sena supporters to defeat her in the election," said Raut.

Amravati in the Vidarbha region will vote in the second phase on April 26. Reacting sharply to Raut's comments, Manisha Kayande, a member of the ruling Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, said, "Like Congress leader Randeep Surjewala who used insulting words against BJP MP Hema Malini, Sanjay Raut should also be reprimanded by the Election Commission (EC)."

Two days ago, the EC barred Surjewala from campaigning for 48 hours over his alleged derogatory remarks against Hema Malini.

Raut's language underscores his dislike for women who are marching ahead in their chosen fields, noted Kayande.

"The EC should ban Raut from addressing rallies during the campaign and teach him a lesson. Raut should not be allowed to give any speeches or interviews to media during the entire campaign period," she said.

Meanwhile, women functionaries of the BJP and Yuva Swabhiman Party protested against Raut at Rajkamal Chowk. They shouted slogans against him and tore several Shiv Sena (UBT) posters having images of the Rajya Sabha MP.

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Published 18 April 2024, 19:18 IST

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