Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Friday, 20 January joined the Congress-led Bharat Jodo Yatra as it traverses through Jammu and Kashmir. He said that he sees Rahul Gandhi, who is spearheading the campaign as a leader who is “raising his voice.”
“I have come from Shiv Sena’s side. The atmosphere of the country is changing and I see Rahul Gandhi as a leader raising his voice. Crowds are gathering in his support and people are joining,” Raut told news agency ANI.
Raut is on a three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir and earlier met with government employees from the Kashmiri Pandit community. The move comes amid protests from the community demanding their relocation to a safe place alleging targeted killing of their colleagues and minorities in Kashmir.
He will also meet Sikh representatives from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and press for their minority status, Hindustan Times has reported.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led faction of the Shiv Sena has come down heavily on Raut for joining the Yatra.
“Balasaheb Thackeray had once said he would never go with the Congress. But today, they (members of the Uddhav faction) are working against his ideals and stand. Sanjay Raut is working against Balasaheb’s ideals. There’s no debate anymore on which is the real Shiv Sena,” Shambhuraj Desai, an MLA from the Shinde faction, told ANI.