A series of blunders and U-turns have become the hallmark of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government as they stumble from one crisis to another. After Uddhav Thackeray and Sanjay Raut harped on an impassionate defence of API Sachin Vaze, Raut has admitted that mistakes were made as the Antilia Bomb threat case and the subsequent mysterious death of Mansukh Hiren threatens to sink the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra.
In an exclusive interview to Rajdeep Sardesai, Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP, Sanjay Raut said, “It is true that something like this should not have happened. A mistake has been made by the police and this won’t happen again. Can’t deny the fact that police work under the government. Government is responsible for the mistakes made by the administration. The CM has made a big reshuffle in the administration.”
Raut who had earlier praised Vaze and labelled him as “an honest and capable officer” attempted to wash his hands off Vaze as he said, “I can’t answer for Vaze, the investigative agencies will give answers,” said the Shiv Sena MP.
Unsurprisingly, Raut also attempted to cast apprehensions over the National Investigative Agency (NIA). “What has NIA achieved in the last few years. NIA’s job is to break the nexus between terrorists. Tell me, what has NIA done after the Uri terror attack, Pathankot terror attack and Pulwama attacks? Have they submitted any report?” said Raut.
In a blatant attempt to downplay the incident, Raut added that the entire NIA, central government and the opposition parties are after ‘some 20 gelatin sticks’ found in a vehicle. He also accused the opposition BJP of “making a mountain out of a molehill”.
When prodded upon Vaze’s links with the Sena, Raut said, “The NIA and ATS are investigating all the allegations against Sachin Vaze. You cannot hang anybody without proper investigation. Sachin Vaze will be punished if he has done any wrong. Is it a crime to be a Shiv Sena member?”
Reportedly, Vaze during his interrogation had named Sena leaders in the Antilia Bomb scare case which further posed uncomfortable questions to Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray and Sanjay Raut who both were adamant in defending Vaze before the mountain of proof emerged against the API which made him an untouchable.
Perhaps Raut’s outburst against the NIA is understandable as the central agency is efficiently investigating the case and it is looking more ugly for the Sena by the day.