Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday termed the criticism of Uddhav Thackeray in Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar’s autobiography “wrong information” and downplayed it by claiming books are read for two days and then put into libraries.
He also said Thackeray would soon respond to what has been written about him in the book.
In his revised autobiography ‘Lok Majhe Sangati’, which focuses on events post-2015 and was released on Tuesday, Pawar wrote it was difficult to fathom why Thackeray as chief minister chose to visit Mantralaya, the state secretariat in south Mumbai, only twice during the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is wrong information. He (Thackeray) was regularly going to the office. His visits (to Mantralaya) were reduced during the coronavirus pandemic because there was a central government directive to work from home,” Raut said, adding that the prime minister, Union ministers and other chief ministers too were not going to the office during the pandemic.
In his book, Pawar also blamed Thackeray for failing to quell the discontent within his own party and for resigning as Maharashtra chief minister without putting up a fight.
A rebellion by Eknath Shinde in June last year brought down the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government under Thackeray. Shinde went on to become the CM with the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Pawar wrote that a CM needs “political acumen” and must remain well-informed about political goings-on, and “we all felt that these things were lacking”.
Speaking on the issue, Raut said, “I have not read the book. I will read it. People read a book for two days and then it goes into the library. Let it go. Shiv Sena (UBT) chief (Uddhav Thackeray) is giving an interview on this very soon. He will respond to what is written about him.” At his book launch event on May 2, Pawar left the leaders and workers of the Nationalist Congress Party shellshocked when he announced that he would be stepping down as the NCP chief.
Since then, the party’s affairs have occupied the centre stage of Maharashtra politics amid speculations about his successor and demands by NCP workers that Pawar continues in his position till at least next year’s Lok Sabha and assembly elections.
With inputs from News18