"No one needs to give us a certificate on being goondas, we are certified," Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), after workers from both parties clashed outside Shiv Sena Bhavan on Thursday, 17 June.
"When it comes to Marathi pride and Hindutva, we are certified goondas", he said, adding that the party office belonged to the people of the state.
Clashes broke out after the BJP youth wing held a protest march against ‘offensive’ remarks in Saamana – Sena’s mouthpiece.
The BJP accused Sena of 'hooliganism', and claimed that a woman party worker was assaulted in the clashes.
"Balasaheb Thackeray used to sit at the Shiv Sena Bhavan. If someone charges at the Shiv Sena Bhavan, we will answer and if that's called goondagiri, then we are goondas," Raut added.
Raut on Cong Wanting to 'Go Alone' in Polls
Meanwhile, reacting to Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole's comment that his party will contest the 2024 Assembly elections alone, Raut said:
"“A friend in the Maha Vikas Aghadi, state Congress Chief Nana Patole, said that he will contest the elections alone. They will be part of the government but will contest elections alone. You can contest elections. Then, the remaining two parties will think about what they will do together in the future.”" - Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena MP
Raut's remarks indicated the possibility of the Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) joining hands for the civic polls.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar of the NCP said that the decision is for party chiefs to make.
"Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, NCP President Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray have the final say on the state elections. Therefore, if someone is making a statement, it does not matter," Ajit Pawar said.
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