Sanjay Raut questions NDA's existence, asks who is alliance's convenor

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut yet again trained guns at the Bharatiya Janata Party and questioned the existence of party-led National Democratic Alliance. (NDA) Slamming the party over the workings of the NDA, Raut said, "There is a lot of difference between the old NDA and today's NDA."

Sanjay Raut questions NDA's existence, asks who is alliance's convenor

MUMBAI: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut yet again trained guns at the Bharatiya Janata Party and questioned the existence of party-led National Democratic Alliance. (NDA) Slamming the party over the workings of the NDA, Raut said, "There is a lot of difference between the old NDA and today's NDA."

Raut further questioned, "Who is the convener of NDA today? Who is the convener for today's NDA? Who is the new Boss of NDA? Please tell me? I don’t know who it is." 

Dubious over the existence of NDA, Raut said that "Advani ji who was one of its founders has either left or is inactive". Talking to media, Raut added that four leaders - Balasaheb Thackerey, Atal Bihari Bajpai, LK Advani, and Prakash Singh Badal - had mainly formed the alliance. He said the existence of NDA was in question and it is not a domain of any single party.

"There is a question on the existence of NDA. NDA is not the domain of any one party. Several parties have joined the alliance over time. Some of them did not even have the same ideologies. However, we had remained a part of it," Raut said.

Raut's comments came after the seating arrangement of Shiv Sena party's MPs in Rajya Sabha was changed on Saturday. Rajya Sabha sources said that Shiv Sena MPs Sanjay Raut and Anil Desai will now sit in the opposition benches during the Winter Session of Parliament, which begins on Monday. Shiv Sena has three MPs in the Upper House of the Parliament. 

Confirming the changed seat-sharing arrangements, Raut said that he was aware of the development. "We have got to know that the seating arrangement of two Shiv Sena MPs has been changed in the Parliament," he said.

Earlier in the day, Sanjay Raut said that Shiv Sena will not attend the NDA meeting convened by the BJP ahead of the winter session in Parliament.

Shiv Sena parted ways with BJP after the two parties could not reach a consensus over power-sharing in Maharashtra after the election results were announced on October 24. The two parties fought the assembly polls together and won a majority.

BJP emerged as the single-largest party with 105 seats and Sena secured the second position with 56 seats. After the results were announced, Shiv Sena insisted on forming a government under 50:50 formula and the CM's post for two-and-a-half-years. The BJP, however, maintained that no such pre-poll alliance was made between the two parties. After days of difference with BJP, the Sena decided to quit the alliance and party leader Arvind Sawant, the only minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi cabinet, resigned from his post. 

(With ANI inputs)