Raut urges Hazare to start movement against corruption, electoral bonds

The Asian Age.  | bhagwan parab

India, Politics

Raut emphasized that Hazare’s anti-corruption protests held at Ramlila Maidan were pivotal in the Congress’ defeat during the 2014 elections

Sanjay Raut. (ANI)

Mumbai: Senior Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut has urged anti-graft activist Anna Hazare to raise voice against scams across the country. Hazare must protest at the Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi against scams in Maharashtra and the country, he said on Friday.

“In last 10 years, there has been a deluge of scams in Maharashtra, including the INS Vikrant scam and the Electoral Bond scam. Hazare should voice his concerns about these issues and stage a hunger strike at Ramlila Maidan. We will also join him in his protest,” said Raut.

The Sena leader’s remarks came on the backdrop of objections raised by Hazare regarding the additional closure report from the Economic Offences Wing in the alleged Rs 25,000-crore Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam, in which Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was among the accused.

In April, the Mumbai police filed a closure report in the MSCB scam, saying there was no unfair loss to the bank due to the loan given to sugar mills and other entities. The bank faced controversy for granting large loans between 2005 and 2010 to various co-operative sugar mills, yarn mills, factories, and other units in Maharashtra, resulting in bad debts.

The closure report was submitted to the Session Court in Mumbai. During a hearing on June 13, Justice Rahul Rokde acknowledged these objections and granted Hazare time to file a petition. The next hearing is scheduled for June 29th.

“I am glad that Anna Hazare has woken up. I congratulate him for that,” said Raut mockingly. “But Maharashtra has not only seen ‘Shikhar’ (MSCB) bank scam. The state has seen plenty of scams. Hazare must also highlight the alleged Rs 10,000-crore electoral bonds scam,” he added.

Raut emphasized that Hazare’s anti-corruption protests held at Ramlila Maidan were pivotal in the Congress’ defeat during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and played a significant role in the emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

“Hazare should also address the charges dropped against Eknath Shinde, Ajit Pawar and their MLAs after they allied with the BJP. Money is being extorted by central agencies in Maharashtra and across the country and it is going to BJP’s coffers,” Raut claimed.

Meanwhile, the NCP has attacked the activist saying that a narco test should be conducted on Hazare to find out who is calling the shots behind him. “Nothing has come out from the investigation done in this case so far. The closure report was filed only after we cleared the judicial and investigative process. Despite this, he (Hazare) suddenly wakes up and levels allegations against the NCP,” said party leader Suraj Chavan.