New Delhi: Raising questions around the announcement of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s death on August 16, senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, wonders if the news of the former Prime Minister’s death was kept on hold in wake of PM Narendra Modi’s elaborate Independence day speech.

In his article titled ‘What is Swarajya’, Raut said,”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).”

However, Raut who is also editor of the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, gave no explanation or reason for his doubts.

Referring to the recent attack on National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir CM Farooq Abdullah,  Raut accused Modi-led Centre of “shielding” those who had heckled the NC leader.

“Farooq Abdullah shouted ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’and ‘Jai Hind’ at a condolence meeting for Vajpayee, and for this reason he was manhandled in Srinagar. And the government shielded the culprits. This new kind of freedom has now emerged,” the Sena leader asserted.

Intensifying his attack on PM Narendra Modi, Raut further wrote,”When it is learnt that police have captured terrorists who had planned to carry out attacks in Delhi, it tells you that Independence Day is nearing. This tradition continued this year too. Ten terrorists who wanted to sabotage Independence Day celebrations were arrested. Huge cache of arms was seized. So (afterwards) the prime minister celebrated Independence Day fearlessly. Prime Minister Modi made several announcements for the poor (in his Independence day speech). The tone of his speech suggested that previous governments did nothing, so the freedom (until now) was a waste.”

He added,”Though the Prime Minister says people who take bribe are facing action, bribery has not decreased. 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.”