With Sena Supremo Uddhav Thackeray taking oath as the Maharashtra CM on Thursday, Rajya Sabha MP and Saamana editor, Sanjay Raut has taken over the complete charge of the Sena mouthpiece. Sources report that Raut has been promoted as Executive Editor of the newspaper and will take over charge from Editor-in-Chief Uddhav Thackeray. Saamana was launched in 1988 by Bal Thackeray.
Bal Thackeray had started as a cartoonist with a Free press Journal (FPJ). After leaving FPJ, Thackeray went on to establish his political weekly - 'Marmik' commenting on the growing influence of non-Marathis in 1960s Bombay. After the founding of Shiv Sena to advocate pro-Marathi interests and to forward the pro-Hindutva cause, Thackeray went on to establish the Saamana. He also founded the Hindi version of the Saamana called 'Dopahar Ka Saamana' in 1993.
Raut has been involved in many controversies through his editorials in the Saamana. the most controversial piece was when Raut had stated Muslims should be disenfranchised to stop vote-bank politics in 2015. His editorial had evoked strong condemnation.
“Till Muslims are used as a vote bank, they have no future. That’s why Balasaheb (party supremo late Bal Thackeray) had demanded that Muslims’ voting rights be taken away. He was right. The day voting rights of Muslims is taken away, the mask of people who claim to be ‘secular’ will be torn apart...," stated Raut in his editorial. Currently, the Saamana has taken many potshots at the BJP while it tussled for shared CM post and 50-50 power-sharing.
Uddhav first started his political journey through the Sena mouthpiece Saamana. While be the editor of Saamana, Thackeray had openly criticized his own Shiv Sena CM Narayan Rane in 1999. This had eventually led to a fallout between Thackeray and Rane, who was expelled from the party.
Uddhav Thackeray is set to become the first Thackeray Chief Minister, putting Sena finally in its coveted CM post. Uddhav Thackeray, who had opted out of the NDA - breaking the BJP-Sena alliance of over 35 years, will be sworn-in at 6:40 PM on Thursday at Mumbai's Shivaji Park where his late father Bal Thackeray's memorial is installed. After taking oath as Chief Minister, Uddhav will have to seek election to the Maharashtra Assembly or the Legislative Council within six months.