Tue. Jun 15th, 2021

Two days after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s one-on-one meeting, Shiv Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut, who is not known for pulling his punches against BJP and Modi in recent months, appeared to have softened his stand.

At a media interaction in Nashik on Thursday, Raut said Modi was the country’s tallest leader at present. The remark came in response to a question on media reports that the RSS had in a recent meeting advised against using Modi as a face in state polls and whether the PM’s popularity is declining.

“I don’t want to comment on it. There is no official statement on it (RSS deciding to use state leaders as a face for Assembly polls). BJP owes its success in the last seven years to Modi. At present, Modi is still the tallest leader of the country and BJP,” said Raut.

Just a month ago, Sena mouthpiece Saamana, of which Raut is the editor, had blamed the PM and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for BJP’s debacle in West Bengal polls. Even while congratulating her the victory in the polls, Thackeray had called Mamata Banerjee a “Bengal tigress” for taking on the BJP.

Raut said in Nashik that the party’s stand has always been that the PM, who belongs to the entire country, should not get involved in election campaigning as it puts pressure on the official machinery.

On him visiting party office-bearers in north Maharashtra, Raut said that it was part of strengthening the organisation in the region. “The alliance partners of the Maha Vikas Aghadi have a right to expand their base and strengthen the parties,” he added.

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