Sanjay Raut wants Uddhav Thackeray as next Maha ‘CM face’, faces pushback

New Delhi/Mumbai: Shiv Sena-UBT MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday contended party President and former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray should be projected as the next CM of Maharashtra for the upcoming Assembly elections, but the latter politely declined it while MVA allies said that the matter has to be discussed.

Talking to media persons, Raut had said that it would be a risky proposition to contest the assembly elections without a ‘CM face’, creating some consternation among the MVA partners, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party-SP.

On his part, Thackeray, asked by media persons about Raut’s statement, Thackeray made it clear that the CM face would be decided by the Maha Vikas Aghadi only after discussions among the allies.

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Vijay Wadettiwar, of the Congress, said that such things cannot be decided without consulting all allies and there has been no discussion on it so far. NCP-SP state President Jayant Patil said that decisions on these things cannot be made before the media, while his party colleague Rohit R. Pawar said that it is imperative first to win the ideological fight through the elections and the CM face can be decided later.

Congress Legislative Party Leader Balasaheb Thorat made it clear that “there has been no decision on this so far”, while ex-minister Yashomati Thakur said that Thackeray is an inspiring leader but the allies will take the final decision on the issue.

However, SS-UBT MLA Vaibhav Naik endorsed Raut, saying that Thackeray has proved himself as the CM (November 2019-June 2022) of the MVA regime plus he is acceptable to the masses.

Raut had pointed out that it was owing to Thackeray’s leadership that the MVA gave a good performance in the last Lok Sabha elections – bagging 31 out of 48 seats – broadly implying that the SS-UBT chief could be the ‘CM face’ for the September-October Assembly polls.

“It will be dangerous to face the elections without a known CM face. Maharashtra has witnessed the good work done by Thackeray as the MVA’s CM, followed by the excellent performance in the 2024 LS elections. The MVA must give a CM face to the people,” he insisted.

Earlier, some MVA leaders had indicated that the three parties – plus their other smaller allies – would contest the elections first and then decide on who would be the CM. -IANS

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