A remark on Shivaji creates ruckus in Pune
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Shiv Sena (UBT) have conducted protests across Pune against the alleged “disparaging and insulting comments” that have been made by Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi on the warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji.
Koshyari, at programme in Aurangabad had said that “Maharashtra had no lack of icons and if Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was an icon of the olden times, B R Ambedkar and Nitin Gadkari were icons of modern times.” Opposition parties have objected to comparison between a BJP leader and the great Maratha king. Shiv Sena workers on Monday staged a demonstration against Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Pube’s Alka chowk.
“In our childhood, we were often asked in school, which is your icon, favourite hero. Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi were the answers. In Maharashtra, you need not look elsewhere … Chhatrapati Shivaji is an icon from the olden times; in modern times, Babasaheb Ambedkar and Nitin Gadkari are found right here,” Koshyari had said during a convocation function in Aurangabad on Saturday.
The protesters have demanded that Koshyari be removed as Governor of Maharashtra, while they also condemned the BJP for remaining silent on the issue. Senior leaders of the NCP’s Pune unit, including city chief Prashant Jagtap and spokesperson Pradeep Deshmukh, participated in the protest. Jagtap said, “The NCP warns of agitation wherever the Governor visits the state, until he apologies for his statement. The Governor has been making controversial statements on national leaders and social reformers from the state.” He added, “The BJP leadership from the state has forgotten the national leaders, so they keep quiet every time party leaders and the Governor they appointed insult the state’s leaders.”
Meanwhile, senior NCP leader and Baramati MP Supriya Sule has called the governor a repeat offender. “It’s not Maharashtra’s culture to criticise the Governor’s actions but Governor Koshyari has been insulting Maharashtra’s icons repeatedly. He is a repeat offender and hence it is important that the government takes some remedial action,” Sule said.