The much awaited Press Conference of Maharashtra !
-Vikrant Hemant Joshi
Finally the PC was over! A day prior to the press conference somewhere in the first half when Shivsena MP Sanjay Raut had declared that the next day Maharashtra will witness one of its own kind of a press conference, he wasn’t wrong. With all the Marathi news channels leaving no stone unturned to scare the daylights out of the BJP leaders playing the promos of Sanjay Raut, and the presence of few hundreds of Shiv Sainiks (from outside Mumbai) at Sena Bhavan, the atmosphere was set. Raut had promised to expose the central agencies and 3.5 men of the BJP who are responsible for the volatile atmosphere every single day in Maharashtra. Well, like every normal citizen of our state, I too waited for the PC in anticipation, but if I can tell you by the end of the PC, it had left me confused and if I can say, the flutter which Raut tried to create, it did not surely, not even 10%of what was shown ! The press was like a misfired missile from an old tank, which did spray the bullets but didn’t hit the target even once!
But yes, this was one kind of a PC where for the first time in the history of Maharashtra politics roads had to be closed down and traffic came to a standstill and Sainik’s gathered in huge numbers below Sena Bhavan, Dadar. All Marathi TV news channels were streaming it live and it was an ‘event’ well planned out. Now someone told me Sena had paid a handsome amount to two of their favourite Marathi news channels, not to forget the reporters who were mingling in the crowd as if it was their family reception get together.
Raut did carry a file full of papers and in a typical filmy style he made his entrance at Sena Bhavan taking a glance outside the window– must say he did make an initial impact as if he is going to tear down the BJP, in literal sense. The anticipation was increasing, which further led to disappointment and more disappointment! The PC was full of name calling. He did this, he did that. By the way readers, has anyone heard about the 19 bungalow’s allegation before? Being a journalist I wasn’t aware when and where was the allegation done by the BJP. Then the Maha IT scam wherein he named a couple of people and then straight away Raut went down to business and the main agenda of the PC-Kirit Somaiya–referring him to as ‘Bhadwa’ and ‘Dalaal’. Then came ‘almost forgotten agenda of the PC’ Mohit Bhartiya which in fact backfired big time when Mohit took another press conference an hour later and exposed lies about how Raut knew him, visited his residence many times and also how Raut took money from him when he faced financial crises. Mohit also tweeted photos of the bank statement after his PC.
Overall, majja nahi aaya ! The content of the PC was worth pondering but the presentation and language used don’t do justice to what Raut wanted to say. Raut looked angry, frustrated and wanted to say a lot but with limited papers. He should have been well prepared like Mohit Bhartiya and Kirit Somaiya. Mere allegations and name calling does raise eyebrows but does not count to be scrutinised. The intensity of the PC built over one and a half days was like air sucked out of a balloon when it was over. Again I am saying, the content was excellent but Raut lacked preparation. Raut might have submitted papers against Kirit and Neil Somaiya a million times to the agencies, but with poor or zero follow up, there is no action initiated, as claimed by Raut himself in the PC. So Mr Raut, like Mohit Bhartiya, or Kirit Somaiya, or father of Sameer Wankhede, why don’t you approach courts if the agencies are not acting on your complaints and if you are so confident on the proof you have? As I said, mere allegations won’t help, proper follow up is necessary.
On the other hand, I am in total agreement with Raut, that yes, the wedding of families and troubling children and small vendors is a NO NO; as even today the wedding of a child is an emotional moment for all of us. But Raut claiming that Mungantiwar (he said forest minister of previous govt) had built a huge set for his daughter’s wedding and spent a fortune–it is true, but the carpet alone costing Rs. 9 crore was again too far-fetched as even the Sheikh himself sleeps on ground, it won’t cost that much, Raut ji! Hence allegations have to be numbered and specific with documents proving it, Mr. Raut!!
Rest his comment on ‘there is no jail which can keep me for more than 2 years’, can be sided off. Understand, he is very disturbed with a chain of events happening around him and call it anger or anything else, let’s not take everything that he says. He has just come out of his best moments of life (daughter got married) and is facing the ED probe. For me, It was an outburst of emotions in the name of a press conference. But at the same time, even a glance at Sanjay Raut one could easily sense that he is very disturbed with the work Somaiya is doing and the arrest of Pravin Raut had just added fuel to the fire. As I had tweeted 10 days ago about Man of the Match, the MVA government did reach out to Amit Shah which Raut confirmed in his press, my information says he did reach out to the likes of Bhide Guruji too at Sangli for help, but in vain.
Overall, it is a sad situation wherein BJP and Sena, two saffron, like minded, political parties are fighting each other and the Bhishma Pitamha smiles and silently prepares for 2022 BMC and 2024 Loksabha elections. I won’t be surprised if the NCP and Congress even ditch Sena in 2024 as till then both otherwise ‘dried up’ parties till 2019 will be fully equipped at cadre level and financially too, to ditch Sena as their MVA partner.
Vikrant Hemant Joshi.