Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Tuesday accused its estranged ally BJP of using communal riots as a “tool” to win polls and instigate communal strife in parts of Maharashtra and the country.
He also insinuated that Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has been doing the BJP’s bidding by raising the issue of loudspeakers atop mosques.
“In Mumbai, you have already created tensions over the loudspeaker issue. There are many cities where such a situation exists and this is hurting the country’s economy. This hurts FDI and domestic investment. This instils fear among the labour class,” Raut told reporters.
He was referring to the recent demand by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray and some BJP leaders for the removal of loudspeakers atop mosques.
Raj Thackeray had asked the state government to get loudspeakers atop mosques removed by May 3, failing which his party would play the Hanuman Chalisa at a higher volume outside mosques.
This demand has led to the state government directing its top police officials to formulate guidelines to deal with the use of loudspeakers for religious purposes.
The demand by the MNS comes ahead of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and other civic polls.
“They (the BJP) have to win polls through riots and do politics. This is the misfortune of the country. It is not concerned about the country, its crores of people, farmers and the working class,” Raut added.
He said the ruling party (at the Centre) is trying to instigate riots in the country. “There have never been riots during Ram Navmi and Hanuman Jayanti before,” Raut said.
Notably, Shiv Sena leaders had repeatedly said in the past that Mumbai was saved because of the party during the 1993 communal violence.
Citing the outcome of bypolls in Nanded and Kolhapur, where the Maha Vikas Aghadi candidates had trounced their BJP rivals, Raut said those having issues with this winning formula are trying to create discord, but the people of the state will not pay any heed to this.
Raut also sought to link the recent riots in Delhi with the civic body polls in the national capital and pointed fingers at the BJP.
“Delhi is UT. The law-and-order is taken care of by the Centre. But since the last few days, there have been riots. The reason behind this is the civic body polls. The polling has been delayed because you fear defeat. Now that you know that you are losing the polls, you have created tensions,” Raut added.