Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday claimed a 'deal of Rs 2000 crore' has taken place so far to 'purchase' the Shiv Sena party name and its 'bow and arrow' symbol, two days after the Election Commission allotted them to the group led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
Legislator Sada Sarvankar from the camp led by Shinde dismissed the claim and asked, "Is Sanjay Raut a cashier?"
Maharashtra minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sudhir Mungantiwar also hit back at Raut saying such baseless comments were an attempt to malign independent institutions like the Supreme Court and the Election Commission of India.
Raut in a tweet claimed the Rs 2,000 crore was a preliminary figure, and that this was 100 per cent true.
He also told reporters that a builder close to the ruling dispensation shared this information with him.
The Rajya Sabha member said his claim was backed by proof which he would disclose soon.
The Election Commission on Friday recognised the Eknath Shinde-led faction as the real Shiv Sena and ordered allocation of the 'bow and arrow' poll symbol to it.
In a 78-page order on the protracted battle for control of the organisation, the EC allowed the Uddhav Thackeray faction to keep the 'flaming torch' poll symbol allocated to it till the completion of the Assembly bypolls in the state.
Raut on Sunday said Rs 2,000 crore is not a small amount to 'purchase' the name Shiv Sena.
'The EC's decision is a deal,' he alleged.
'I have reliable information that there has been a deal of Rs 2000 crore to get the Shiv Sena name and its symbol. This is a preliminary figure and is 100 per cent true. Many things will be revealed shortly. Never before this has happened in the country's history,' Raut tweeted.
However, BJP leader Mungantiwar said such comments were an attempt to malign independent institutions like the Supreme Court and the Election Commission of India.
People will teach a lesson to those who make such comments which disrespect democracy, he said.
"Hope better sense prevails," he added.
Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar claimed people making such comments have 'either lost senses or gone mad'.
Meanwhile, to a question on Union Home Minister Amit Shah's attack on former Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray with 'licking soles of those with opposite ideology' jibe, Raut asked, "What is the present chief minister licking? Maharashtra doesn't give importance to what Shah says. The current chief minister has no right to take Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's name."
Shah on Saturday said those who chose to 'lick the soles' of people with opposite ideologies have found which side truth was on after the EC declared the faction headed by Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde as the real Shiv Sena and gave it the 'bow and arrow' symbol.
Without naming Uddhav Thackeray, Shah also reiterated there was no agreement on sharing the chief minister's post in the run up to the 2019 Assembly polls.
The Shiv Sena broke its alliance with the BJP after the results of the 2019 assembly polls were declared, claiming the latter had reneged on a promise to share the CM's post with it.
Uddhav Thackeray subsequently teamed up with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress to lead the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), till it fell in June last year after Shinde rebelled.