Sanjay Raut slams Raj Thackeray over Balasaheb video; ‘Illegal loudspeakers were removed’

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The war of words between Shiv Sena and Raj Thackeray escalated after the latter posted a video of his uncle Balasaheb backing the removal of loudspeakers.

Image: PTI

The war of words between Shiv Sena and Raj Thackeray escalated after the latter posted a video of his late uncle backing the removal of loudspeakers from mosques. Addressing a media briefing on Wednesday, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut affirmed that no one can teach his party about the ideology of Balasaheb Thackeray. Contending that the present agitation by the MNS chief was motivated by political gain, he argued that illegal loudspeakers in mosques were removed after the Sena came to power in Maharashtra. 

Sanjay Raut remarked, “Even if someone puts up ancient tweets about Balasaheb Thackeray, no one needs to tell us about Balasaheb. He should analyze Balasaheb again and again. We have not slipped so much for someone to tell us the history of the Shiv Sena supremo’s thoughts and positions. Even today, Balasaheb’s thoughts are in our breaths. Balasaheb had definitely taken a position when it comes to loudspeakers. Balasaheb had definitely taken a position when it comes to public namaz. But Balasaheb stopped the public namaz after giving an alternative. Illegal loudspeakers in mosques have been taken down.”

In the video, Balasaheb Thackeray can be heard saying, “The day my government comes to power in the state, we will not leave any stone unturned to stop public namaz. Religion should be such that it should not obstruct national development. It should not cause a nuisance to people. If someone is annoyed by the Hindu religion, they should come and tell me. We are ready to make arrangements in this regard. Loudspeakers from mosques will be removed.”

‘Extremely useless statement’ says Shiv Sena Spokesperson

Meanwhile, Raut came down heavily on Raj Thackeray for claiming that the Shiv Sena founder wanted to silence all loudspeakers. The Shiv Sena spokesperson opined, “This is an extremely useless statement. Does anyone understand the meaning of this statement? What is the meaning of all loudspeakers should be removed? We install loudspeakers in temples. Bhajan-Kirtan goes on in our villages throughout the night. Should we stop this? Balasaheb had never said that all loudspeakers will be removed”. 

The MNS chief has given an ultimatum to the Uddhav Thackeray-led administration to remove loudspeakers from mosques by May 4, failing which, he warned that Hanuman Chalisa will be played at double volume in front of such places of worship. The police swung into action today and detained over 1000 MNS workers across the state. Raj Thackeray is likely to address the media at 1 pm today. 

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