Home » Sambhajiraje declines Sena offer, party says it won’t support him as independent | Mumbai news

Sambhajiraje declines Sena offer, party says it won’t support him as independent | Mumbai news

Sambhajiraje declines Sena offer, party says it won’t support him as independent | Mumbai news

Mumbai:

Mumbai: A day after receiving chief minister Uddhav Thackeray’s invite to join Shiv Sena for a Rajya Sabha seat, Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati, a descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, has turned down the offer and sought their support as an independent candidate. However, the party said that it would not do so, for anybody.

Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Monday dismissed that it was an “offer” to Sambhajiraje and added that “Sena will not support any independent for the Rajya Sabha membership. The party will prefer its own members”, for the June 10 election.

On Sunday, Thackeray had sent a delegation to meet Sambhajiraje, inviting him to join the Sena on Monday. Sena insiders said that Sambhajiraje was not open to joining the party but sought their backing as an independent candidate.

Speaking to reporters, Raut said, “We told him to join the party. It was his decision… I am speaking on Uddhav Thackeray’s behalf that we will get two candidates elected. If someone wants to come along with us, we will think about it.”

Raut further added, that though Sambhajiraje has announced his candidature as an independent, he does not have the votes. “Firstly, it was not an offer [to Sambhajiraje]… When Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati announced his wish to go ahead as an independent, he would have some backing, but it seems that he does not have the required votes. He sought votes from us, but how do we give them? Because we want to get a Shiv Sainik elected.”

The election for the six seats is slated to be held on June 10. Shiv Sena’s allies, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress, have left it to Thackeray to decide on the sixth seat. Out of the other five seats, Bharatiya Janata Party can win two and MVA three.

A senior Sena functionary said that Thackeray was firm to put up a second candidate from the Sena. The Sena will re-nominate Sanjay Raut, whose Rajya Sabha term ends on July 4.

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A political observer said that going with Sena would have sent a wrong signal for Sambhajiraje. At the same time, several members of the community were unhappy when Sambhajiraje sought support from outfits.

Meanwhile, Maratha Kranti Morcha held a virtual meeting on the issue of Sabhajiraje’s candidature and expressed unhappiness over Sena’s condition to him. “The Shiv Sena has put an unfortunate condition. Raje does not wish to join the party. [NCP chief Sharad] Pawar saheb had already indicated support to Raje. The MKM wants all parties to support Sambhaijraje’s candidature as an independent,” said Pradip Kashid, convenor of the Maratha Kranti Morcha.

The Sena functionary added that Thackeray is not looking at caste factors and backlash against Sena, if the party puts up a candidate against Sambhajiraje. When asked if Shiv Sena put up a candidate opposing a descendant of Shivaji, Raut said, “How can one use the word oppose? Those are our seats. We are taking two steps forward. There is no question of opposing or supporting anybody. We will get two Sena candidates elected to Rajya Sabha.”

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