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Arvind Sawant made Shiv Sena's chief spokesperson along with Sanjay Raut

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Mumbai, Apr 01: The Shiv Sena has appointed its Lok Sabha member Arvind Sawant as the party's chief spokesperson, in an apparent bid to keep in check its other chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut. Sawant was earlier a spokesperson of the party.

Arvind Sawant

He was the Shiv Sena's lone minister in the Narendra Modi-led central cabinet before he quit in 2019, after his party snapped ties with the BJP and joined hands with the NCP and Congress to form government in Maharashtra.

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The Sena published a new list of its spokespersons in the party mouthpiece 'Saamana' on Wednesday. Raut, the Rajya Sabha member and the executive editor of 'Saamana', was made the party's chief spokesperson in September last year. The move to appoint Sawant also as the Sena's chief spokesperson comes against the backdrop of Raut recently calling Maharashtra NCP leader Anil Deshmukh an "accidental home minister".

The Rajya Sabha member also faced criticism from the ally Congress in the state after he suggested that NCP chief Sharad Pawar should take over as UPA chairperson. The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is currently headed by senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi.

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Maharashtra Revenue Minister and senior Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat on Tuesday said Raut should be careful before making any comments. State Congress chief Nana Patole had also asked if Raut was the spokesperson of Pawar.

Meanwhile, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena has dropped state minister Gulabrao Patil and Lok Sabha member Dhairyasheel Mane as party spokespersons.

Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar, Maharashtra Transport Minister Anil Parab, Rajya Sabha member Priyanka Chaturvedi, legislators Sunil Prabhu,Pratap Sarnaik, Bhaskar Jadhav, Ambadas Danve and Manisha Kayande, Sena's deputy leader Sachin Air, former mayor Shubha Raul, corporator Sheetal Mhatre, Kishore Kanhere, Sanjana Ghadi and Anand Dube will continue as the Sena's spokespersons, the party said.

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