In a scathing attack on the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Wednesday (November 20) wrote a letter to Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Nadu saying moving him to the 5th row from 3rd row in the Upper House is an attempt by the Centre to humiliate him and his party.
"Astonished to know that my seating position in Rajya Sabha chamber is changed from 3rd to 5th row.This decision was taken by someone deliberately to hurt Shiv Sena's sentiments and suppress our voice," Raut said in his letter to Naidu.
Raut claimed that he was allotted a seat in 3rd row even when Congress-led UPA government was in power at Centre. "I may remind you that even when NDA was in Opposition, I was allotted a 3rd row seat in the House in view of my seniority in Rajya Sabha, but now, what I feel, it is clearly shows that my seat has been allotted in the 5th row intentionally to humiliate me and my party's status in the House," remarked the Shiv Sena MP.
Raut, who has been constantly targeting the BJP ever since the relation between Shiv Sena and BJP soured over government formation in Maharashtra, said that he was finding it tough to understand the reason behind "this unwarranted step of re-allocation of seats since there is no formal announcement about the removal from NDA".
The senior Shiv Sena leader demanded that he must be allotted a seat in any of the first three rows according to the decorum of Rajya Sabha. Raut also questioned Naidu's conduct of Rajya Sabha and said that the Chairperson should keep in mind that he is above party affiliations and his decision should not favour any particular party.
The Shiv Sena leader also mentioned in his letter to Naidu that his party is still officially a part of NDA and it is illogical to change his seat from 3rd to 5th row. Raut added that there has been no "formal announcement about the removal from NDA".
It is to be noted that Shiv Sena and BJP fought the October Maharashtra assembly elections as allies and they got the simple majority to form the government with the BJP winning 105 seats and Sena 56 in 288-member Maharashtra Assembly. But the two parties failed to form the government as Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray demanded rotational chief ministerial post, a demand rejected by the BJP.