Rashmi Thackeray, wife of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, on Sunday was appointed Editor of Saamana, the Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece, IANS reported. Party MP Sanjay Raut will continue to serve as the executive editor of the newspaper.
In November, Uddhav Thackeray stepped down as the editor of the newspaper after he took oath as chief minister. This was done in order to avoid any conflict of interest since the newspaper receives advertisements from the government, an unidentified Shiv Sena leader told The Indian Express. He had been the editor of the Marathi daily since 2012 when he took over the post from his father and Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray.
The announcement of Rashmi Thackeray’s appointment was made by Saamana Group Publisher Rajendra M Bhagwat in Mumbai, The Times of India reported. Her name also appeared as the editor on the print line in Sunday’s edition of the newspaper.
Saamana was launched by Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray on January 23, 1983. Its Hindi tabloid version – Dophar ka Saamana – was launched on 23 February, 1993. Since its inception, the newspaper has served as the mouthpiece of the party, taking critical position on politics and developmental issues in Maharashtra through its editorials.
In recent years, the newspaper has constantly criticised its former ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party, both at the state and the Centre for its policies. The Shiv Sena has been particularly vociferous in its criticism of the Citizenship Amendment Act, stating in Saamana editorials that the law has several loopholes.
In February, however, Uddhav Thackeray said the Citizenship Amendment Act had been misunderstood and claimed there was no need to pass an Assembly resolution against it. In an interview to Saamana, Thackeray said the “misunderstandings” about the citizenship law need to be cleared. “CAA is not a law to remove someone from the country,” he added. “Amit Shah has said that it is to give citizenship. And I agree with it to that extent. It is to give citizenship to those persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries and not to remove anyone from the country.”