इंडियन आवाज़     23 May 2024 09:07:13      انڈین آواز

“Shivaji Maharaj is our god” says Gadkari as row over Guv remarks escalate

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Union Minister Nitin Gadkari broke his silence over governor remarks on Shivaji saying “Shivaji Maharaj is our god…We revere him even more than our parents.”

Two days ago, it was Mr Gadkari whom Governor Koshyari had complimented while describing Shivaji as an outdated icon.

“‘Earlier, when you were asked who your icon is, the answers would be Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi. In Maharashtra, you need not look elsewhere (as) there are so many icons here. While Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is icon of the olden days, now there are BR Ambedkar and Nitin Gadkari,” the Maharashtra Governor had said on Saturday.

Mr Koshyari had made the comments while conferring honorary doctorates on Mr Gadkari and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena and the NCP slammed the comments, accusing the Governor of demeaning Maharashtra by equating Shivaji with the BJP leader.

Team Thackeray also questioned the “silence” of the rival Eknath Shinde faction over comments by a Governor seen to be close to the BJP.

This morning, an MLA of team Shinde, Sanjay Gaikwad, demanded that Mr Koshyari be moved out of Maharashtra for his remarks.

“The Governor should understand that the ideals of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj never age and he cannot be compared to any other great person in the world. My request to BJP leaders at the Centre is that a person who does not know the history of the state and how it functions, be sent somewhere else,” the MLA said.

The Shivaji comments have added a new layer to an already raging controversy over another figure from the past, Veer Savarkar, and Rahul Gandhi’s comment that he had sought mercy from the British while in jail during the freedom movement.

An editorial in the Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana attacked the Governor and asked why Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis were both silent on the Shivaji “insult” after railing at Rahul Gandhi’s Savarkar comments.

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