No record of Lata Mangeshkar’s brother being sacked from AIR: Raut
New Delhi, Feb 10: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday objected to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's claim that musician Hridaynath Mangeshkar was sacked from the All India Radio (AIR) for presenting a poetry on freedom fighter Veer Savarkar, PTI reported.
Asked by a reporter whether the PM had made the reference in view of the upcoming Goa Assembly elections, Raut said it is possible, considering the Mangeshkar family traces its roots to the coastal state, where polls for the 40-member House will be held on February 14.
"It is possible. He is a great prime minister. It seems to me that no one became prime minister before him and there will be none afterwards," Raut said sarcastically.
"I respect (Modi) him a lot. He is a big leader. I don't want to comment on him. It happens in politics, people say something, we should understand," the Rajya Sabha member said addressing media persons in Delhi.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, PM Modi had launched listed instances of past Congress governments muzzling the freedom of expression, and cited Lata Mangeshkar's musician brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar being sacked from the AIR for presenting a poetry on Savarkar.
Raut on Thursday said he has heard that song all his life on the Akashvani itself, which popularised that song.
"It is a convention that a person occupying a constitutional post at least should not lie. But I salute the prime minister," Raut said in sarcastic comments.
The Sena leader said as per his information, there is no record of Hridaynath Mangeshkar being sacked by the AIR.
"If a composer is removed from the job for playing a certain song, that song will not be played again on the Akashvani for these many years. Why would they play it? "I listen to it even today on the Akashvani and Doordarshan. We all hear it. This song has a place in our hearts," Raut said, adding that he is a devotee of Savarkar and that sentiment is not some drama.
The parliamentarian also hit out at PM Modi over his claim that when people were following lockdown and COVID-19 norms, the Congress was standing at railway stations in Mumbai and scaring innocent labourers into fleeing to their native states.
"How much are you going to lie? At least one leader from the Maharashtra BJP should have condemned this remark. Is this your love for Maharashtra?" Raut asked.
On PM Modi's reported remark that there is a "BJP wave" in the five poll-bound states (Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur), Raut said, "It is great and I wish him luck".
The Rajya Sabha member also targeted Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil over his recent claim that the party will return to power in the state after March 10, after results of the Assembly polls in five states are out.
"I wish them luck. A new date has been given. These people must be baillif in some court which is why they get confused about dates," he said, taking a jibe at the BJP.
Maharashtra is at present being governed by the Maha Vikas Aghadi, comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress.
Raut, who had claimed he was offered to assist in "toppling" the MVA government, without naming anyone, asserted that the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra will not bow down before any "Tom, Dick and Harry".
He also claimed that the Shiv Sena is being troubled through central agencies "out of fear" stemming from the party's efforts focused on expanding its base outside Maharashtra.
"We are contesting 15 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. We are going to contest in Gujarat and other states. When we talk about this, these monsters (central agencies) are unleashed after us. But, those who are Hindutvavadis will know monsters are killed," he added.
To another question, Raut said Mumbai could not be separated from Maharashtra because of the Shiv Sena.
Efforts are still on "to grab the city", he claimed, adding that the Uddhav Thackeray-led party will not let them succeed.