"Sachin Tendulkar has made Maharashtra famous all over the world", Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi said on Wednesday even as he felt the cricket icon should have avoided the 'Mumbai belongs to all Indians' comment as it is an issue for his party.
"I love Sachin a lot. The issue should not come up time and again as it does not leave a good taste", Joshi told IANS here, appearing keen to put an end to the controversy over Sachin's remarks.
Joshi, a former Lok Sabha speaker who is a Shiv Sena MP in the Rajya Sabha, said Sachin had "made Maharashtra famous" all over the world. "He is a great man. What can I say about him. But it will be good for him not to talk of political issues", Joshi said.
Following Sachin's remark earlier this month, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray had slammed the cricketer in the party mouthpiece Saamna, saying it had torn the Marathi heart.
While Thackeray's remarks had evoked nationwide criticism, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut took the issue further by saying in another Saamna article later that Sachin had not helped Marathi players but Sunil Gavaskar had done so.
But Joshi struck a conciliatory note.
Joshi, who has headed the cricket association in Mumbai, said Shiv Sena had no objection to Sachin's 'I am an Indian first' remark as his party also puts 'Jai Hind' before 'Jai Maharashtra'.
"But there was no need for the cricketer to say that Mumbai belongs to all Indians as Shiv Sena has a stand on the issue", Joshi said.
About violence unleashed by Shiv Sena workers on IBN network offices in Mumbai and Pune last week, Joshi said both sides should have followed their respective codes of conduct. He maintained his party workers felt incensed over IBN news channels 'targeting' Thackeray.