After spending over 101 days behind bars, Shiv Sena (UBT) MP termed his stay in the Arthur Road Central Jail (ARCJ) as an ordeal and ‘not an easy’ one for anybody, here on Thursday.
“I was in solitary confinement, no contact with the outside world… I had to talk to myself or to the jail walls. I wore a watch for the first time after over three months,” said a visibly relaxed Raut.
He said that his tenure in the prison cell made him wonder how Vishnu Damodar alias Swatantraveer Savarkar endured 10 years and Bal Gangadhar Lokmanya Tilak spent six years, or during the Emergency, the (ex-PM) Atal Behari Vajpayee stayed two years in jail.
“A jail term is not good… I have suffered a lot, my family has also lost much. It is wrong to send anybody to jail for no reasons…,” said Raut, proceeding to a private hospital for a medical checkup.
Nevertheless, adopting a Gandhian attitude, the Sena (UBT) MP said he harboured no grudge against the Enforcement Director (ED) or those who hatched the conspiracy to send him to jail.
“I will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and apprise them of what I am undergoing. I will also call on Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to discuss state issues with him,” declared Raut.
He reiterated that the government of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Fadnavis is ‘unconstitutional’ and it’s the Deputy CM who’s running the show, but he endorsed some of the decisions of the new regime installed in June.
“I welcome Fadnavis’ statement on how the level of politics has been vitiated,” said Raut, raising eyebrows in political circles.
The Sena (UBT) MP said he will meet party President and former CM Uddhav Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar later this afternoon.
Commenting on the Congress, Raut said if his health permits he would join Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, currently traversing through Maharashtra.
The firebrand leader said that his arrest was ‘illegal’ and that has been said by the Special PMLA Court in its ruling on Wednesday.
“This has sent a clear, positive message across the country… My faith in the judiciary has been enhanced…,” said Raut, interacting briefly with the media on Thursday.
Raut was released from the ARCJ where he spent around 101 days in connection with an alleged money-laundering case arising out of the Patra Chawl redevelopment case.
In the ruling, Special Judge M. G. Deshpande ripped into the ED’s case, terming the arrest as ‘illegal’, for ‘no reason’, ‘selectively targetting’, etc., while releasing Sanjay Raut and his close associate Pravin Raut.