Sanjay Raut, the Rajya Sabha MP from Shiv Sena and Editor in Chief of Saamana, the mouthpiece of the party, is said to be upset over his brother, Sunil Raut, MLA from Vikroli constituency, not awarded with cabinet berth in the alliance government.
Previously, the demand by Raut for the ministerial position to his brother was supported by Republican Party of India President Ramdas Athawale, who said that Sanjay Raut played instrumental role in Gathbandhan. “Sanjay Raut was the main person for this Gathbandhan, the party should have given a ministry to his brother. If Sanjay Raut wants his brother to be given a ministry, there is nothing wrong in it,” said Athawale.
In the latest ministerial expansion, in which 36 people were included in the Uddhav Thackeray ministry, many prominent Shiv Sena leaders including Sunil Raut and Tanaji Sawant have not found a place. This has led to discontent among the party leaders, who were eyeing for coveted ministries.
The maximum number of ministers the 288 members Maharashtra assembly could have is 43, given the constitution restricts the number of ministers to maximum 15 percent of the assembly’s total strength. This has led to a massive discontent among the prominent leaders of all three parties who could not make in to Uddhav’s ministry.
Raut did not attend the swearing in ceremony of the 36 ministers. The party mouthpiece, Saamana, also criticized the ministerial expansion and opined that original Shiv Sainik’s are being ignored at the cost of newcomers and alliance partners. It is important to note here that Sanjay Raut is Editor in Chief of Saamana, and therefore, the article must have been curated by him.
Congress office in Pune was vandalized by party MLA Sangram Thopte’s supporters. The state Congress chief has openly made statements regarding the dispute over cabinet berths. The only party which looks satisfied to a great extent with the distribution of power is NCP, which got the Deputy CM post for Ajit Pawar as well as finance and rural development ministries for Jayant Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal respectively.
In an editorial, Saamana also admitted that there is tussle among the allies over cabinet berths. “The Cabinet expansion was, indeed, delayed but it finally happened. There were some sparks of disappointment from those who could not make the cut, but the list of probables was huge,” read Shiv Sena mouthpiece.
However, when the media started reporting over Sanjay Raut’s fall from grace, and his inability to persuade the alliance to offer ministerial berth to his brother, he said that he and his brother work for the organization and welfare of the people, and they are not interested in ministries.
“My brother has been MLA for a very long time. His priority has never been to become a minister. He is committed to the party. And there are many people in the party like us who believe in working for the organization and people of the state,” said the senior Shiv Sena leader.
Raut fashioned himself as master political strategist after he crafted the alliance deal, and saw himself as number two in the government. He went as far as to suggest that he is crafting strategy to instrument the fall of BJP’s government in Maharashtra. However, as the alliance formed government in power, he could not win even a ministerial position for his brother.
This case proves that, Sanjay Raut, at best, is a good writer. To even think of him to be capable of drawing the political strategies of a political party would be an infantile assertion.