Waiting for Sanjay Raut to send list of 120 BJP leaders to Enforcement Directorate: Devendra Fadnavis

Last Updated 25 November 2020, 18:34 IST

Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said the BJP was waiting for Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut to send a list of "120 BJP leaders" to the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Earlier in the day, Raut termed the ED's raids on the premises of Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik in Thane as "political vendetta" and said he will send a list of 120 BJP leaders to the central agency to see if acts against them.

"I had dared Raut to send the list. Today he said that he will send the list. We are waiting for it," Fadnavis said in a press conference here.

On the ED's action against Sarnaik, he said, "The agency will work on the basis of the evidence it has. But Sarnaik should have approached the agency and put forth his side, but he chose to visit the 'Saamana' (Sena mouthpiece) office and give interviews," he added.

Fadnavis also said that Shiv Sena is not Maharashtra, and asserted that it was his party which worked towards protecting the identity of the state when it was in power for five years.

The Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly also accused the Sena of labelling those who levelled charges of corruption against it as being "Maharashtra-drohi" (anti- Maharashtra).

"Nobody becomes Maharashtra-drohi just because someone calls that person so. When allegations of corruption are levelled against them, they call that person Maharashtra- drohi," he said.

He was replying to a query whether the Shiv Sena was painting the BJP as Maharashtra-drohi in matters pertaining to actor Kangana Ranaut, Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and Shiv Sena leader Pratap Sarnaik.

"It was the BJP which worked towards keeping the identity of Maharashtra intact when it was in power for five years...We made Maharashtra number one state, surpassing Gujarat in terms of investments and I am proud that I was the chief minister (at that time)," he added.

"The Shiv Sena should understand that it is not Maharashtra," he said.

When asked about NCP's state unit chief Jayant Patil's allegations about registration of bogus voters ahead of the upcoming graduate and teachers' constituencies elections, Fadnavis said it means that the NCP leader has accepted the defeat.

"There is no EVM, so he knows that if they face defeat, they would not be able to blame on it. Which is why he is making such claims," he said.

On being asked about his support to Uttar Pradesh's ordinance on 'love jihad' and whether he thinks it was possible in a progressive state like Maharashtra, he said, "How can the law on love jihad be called regressive? The terms progressive and regressive are individuals perspectives. I am surprised about Shiv Sena, which had once taken a strong position against 'love jihad'."

"They wrote big editorials, sought legislation against love jihad, but now they have taken a U-turn," he added.

Replying to a question about Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray telling Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the 'politicisation' of Covid-19 situation in the state by the BJP, Fadanvis said, "It is a welcome sign that the state government has taken cognisance of BJP's agitations in the state."

Speaking on the Maratha reservation and a government resolution issued by the state that admissions would be done without 12 per cent Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) quota and will be done under the open category, the BJP leader said, "The government is resorting to delaying tactics on the quota issue, due to which the students are facing hardships."

(Published 25 November 2020, 18:22 IST)

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