Sena Leader Questions Day of Vajpayee’s Death, Links It to PM’s Speech

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Sena lawmaker Sanjay Raut’s editorial in ‘Saamana’, voices the speculations that have been doing the rounds ever since the death of former Premier Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It wonders whether the news of Atal Bihari Vajpayee was kept on hold on account of PM Modi’s Independence Day speech. 

The Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party have never been close buddies despite being on the “right” side of the scale, as far as political priorities are concerned. In its latest attack on ally BJP, the Shiv Sena has raised questions around the announcement of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s death on August 16.

In a strongly worded editorial Sena lawmaker Sanjay Raut, in an editorial in the party’s mouthpiece Saamana, has finally put a voice to the many rumours circulating ever since the news of the BJP stalwart’s death was made public. Ever since Aug 15th night rumours had been circulating that while Mr. Vajpayee was already dead, news of the same was kept on hold on account of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech on August 15. This being the last Independence day before Election 2019, the BJP was all set to make this a grand affair and announcement of Vajpayee’s death would have led to the cancellation of not just the flag hoisting at the Red Fort but also all other functions as national mourning would have been declared.

In his Editorial Mr. Raut, a Rajya Sabha member who is also the editor of Saamana doesn’t explain the reason for his doubts.

Mr. Vajpayee died at 93 after a long illness at the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences, which also declared the time of death on August 16.

“Rather than our people, our rulers should first understand what is ‘swarajya‘ (self-rule). Vajpayee died on August 16, but from 12-13 August, his condition was deteriorating. To avoid national mourning and lowering of flag to half-mast on Independence Day, and also (as) Prime Minister Narendra Modi was to make his elaborate speech from the Red Fort, Vajpayee left this world on August 16 (or his death was announced),” Mr. Raut said in an article in Marathi titled “What is Swarajya?”.

This news has also been in the media that Mr. Vajpayee was already critical when admitted and died any time between August 12-14th but the news was not declared, keeping in mind the Independence Day function which the BJP wanted to hold with full fanfare.

Over the past few years, the Shiv Sena has not held back on targeting the BJP, its alliance partner at the Centre and in Maharashtra, and even announced that it will contest the 2019 national election on its own.

Furthermore, Mr. Raut has been extremely critical of Mr. Modi’s foreign tours. “It is true that welfare schemes are run on the tax which honest people pay. It is also true that Prime Minister’s foreign tours are funded by the same money, and thousands of crores are spent on advertisements from the same money. This is how the new ‘Swarajya‘ is functioning,” the Sena leader wrote.

TIO has also been in touch with several highly placed Intelligence sources in Delhi who have, on condition of anonymity, agreed that Mr. Vajpayee’s death came about earlier than August 15 but was held in abeyance till after the Independence Day function. In fact, early in the day, the road to ITO was being cleared to make way for Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s body to be moved to his residence where it would be placed for the public to pay their homage before it was cremated. In Lucknow too, Independence Day buntings were removed from the party office early on August 16. The news of Vajpayee’s death was only broken at around 5.15 p.m. on NDTV.com to the public.

Copy Edited by Adam Rizvi

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Shirin Abbas

Dr. Shirin Abbas is the Bureau Chief "TheIndiaObserver.Com". She is a world-renowned journalist, winner of several national and international awards for her contribution to Media Research.The first recipient of the prestigious British Chevening Scholarship for Print Journalism in 1999 from her state of Uttar Pradesh. Under the same, she studied at the School of Media, Communication, and Design at the University Of Westminster, London and interned with The Irish Times, Dublin. She has been a journalist for over three decades, working at several national English dailies in North India. She completed her PhD. in Mass Communication in 2016.

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