Shiv Sena president and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has appointed Sanjay Raut, who is leading the tirade against Kangana Ranaut for saying she doesn’t feel safe in Mumbai, as the party’s chief spokesperson.
He will lead a team of 10 other spokespersons, including Arvind Sawant and Dhairyasheel Mane, both members of the Lok Sabha, Priyanka Chaturvedi, who is a Rajya Sabha member, state ministers Anil Parab, Uday Samant and Gulabrao Patil, and legislators Pratap Sarnaik and Sunil Prabhu.
The party announced the appointments in a statement. Raut is also the executive editor of party mouthpiece ‘Saamna’.
Raut, Sarnaik and Prabhu have been quite vocal in their criticism of Ranaut who had said that Mumbai seemed like Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and the government was acting like Taliban after Sena leaders had issued threats against her.
Raut had said that she shouldn’t come to Mumbai and that she did not have any right to live in Mumbai if she felt unsafe there. As the verbal attacks between the Sena and Ranaut intensified, Raut was caught using an abusive term while referring to Ranaut. Although he has not apologised, he has conceded that his use of the word was not right.
“I may have made a mistake,” Raut told NDTV.
Following the threats from Sena leaders, the Centre announced that Ranaut will be provided Y-Plus security during her visit to Mumbai.
In the interview to NDTV, Raut criticised the Centre’s decision. “If the Centre thinks a person who talks in derogatory language about the Maharashtra of Chhatrapati Shivaji and Mumbai of Mumba Devi, if it thinks it is right to give her security, so be it. If the National Commission for Women thinks such a woman should get security in this country, it is up to them. But the people of Maharashtra are watching,” he said.
The Sena’s fight with Ranaut has taken a new turn after the state government said it will conduct an investigation into her alleged drug links. Pratap Sarnaik and Sunil Prabhu, the two legislators appointed as spokespersons, had demanded the inquiry pointing to an old interview given by Ranaut’s ex-boyfriend Adhyayan Suman in which he said that she consumed drugs and had also forced him to use it.