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Sena rebukes Raut over burqa editorial

May 02, 2019 06:31 AM

COURTESY MIRROR MAY 2

Sena rebukes Raut over burqa editorial
Saamana editor warned not to stray from party line; but Raut continues to defy leadership
Chaitanya.Marpakwar@timesgroup.com
TWEETS @ChaiMIRROR

The Shiv Sena on Wednesday rebuked Sanjay Raut, its Rajya Sabha member and editor of the party’s mouthpiece, Saamana, for calling for a ban on burqa in an editorial.

Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray were reportedly angry that Raut was straying from the party line, according to senior party functionary.


“He has been served a warning to not start creating policies on his own, otherwise action would be due,” the functionary told Mumbai Mirror.

“This is clearly out of line He was given the sternest possible warning. One more such editorial and it would really be the end of the line for him.”

While both Uddhav and Aditya, who are currently abroad, did not speak directly to Raut, the “message of the leadership has been conveyed to him”, the functionary said.

In the editorial Raut, who is the executive editor of Saamna, called for a ban on burqa and endorsed a similar plan being considered by the Sri Lankan government in the wake of the Easter terror attacks, which killed more than 250 people. He did not consult Uddhav or Aditya before writing the editorial, the functionary said.

“This restriction has been recommended as an emergency measure to ensure the security forces do not encounter difficulties in identifying anybody. People wearing face masks or burqas could pose a threat to national security,” the editorial said.

An embarrassed Shiv Sena distanced itself from the editorial and claimed that it wasn’t the party’s view but the “personal opinion” of the editor.

“Every policy decision is discussed in the leader’s meeting or announced by Uddhav Thackerayji. Today’s editorial has neither been discussed nor been announced by Uddhavji and thus it may be a personal opinion of the editor on the current affairs in Sri Lanka,” party spokesperson Neelam Gorhe said in a statement.

“This is not the first time that Raut has embarrassed the party,” another functionary said.

“He did a similar thing in 2014 soon after the Lok Sabha election when he questioned the loyalty of the Gujarati people in Maharashtra. Uddhavji is travelling at the moment and he has asked Raut to refrain from writing such editorials, which damage the party’s image at a time when Adityaji is trying hard to give the Sena a more inclusive makeover. Raut has been asked to not exceed his brief.

“The leadership may take editorial control of the paper soon since Raut has refused to fall in line despite repeated warnings.”

Despite the warning, however, Raut continued to tweet on the issue. “It’s a Saamna editorial. Has to be talked about,” he tweeted

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