Opposition, Maratha outfit protest over “insulting remarks” by Governor Koshyari, BJP’s Sudhanshu Trivedi

Published on Nov 21, 2022 12:33 AM IST

The BJP’s ally Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena said they have conveyed their unhappiness over the controversy to the BJP. Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has also joined the opposition in slamming the governor’s comment.

Mumbai, India - November 20, 2022: Maratha Kranti Morcha activists stage a protest against Maharashra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for his controversial remarks on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, at the Maratha king's statue near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on the Western Express Highway, at Santacruz, in Mumbai, India, on Sunday, November 20, 2022. (Photo by Vijay Bate/HT Photo) (HT PHOTO)
Mumbai, India - November 20, 2022: Maratha Kranti Morcha activists stage a protest against Maharashra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for his controversial remarks on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, at the Maratha king's statue near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on the Western Express Highway, at Santacruz, in Mumbai, India, on Sunday, November 20, 2022. (Photo by Vijay Bate/HT Photo) (HT PHOTO)

Mumbai: After Veer Savarkar, now comments on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj are snowballing into a major political controversy in Maharashtra. Opposition parties have taken umbrage at Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi’s comments on the Maratha king in the past couple of days. The Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have demanded that the Shinde-Fadnavis government ask the Centre to recall Koshyari and also that the BJP apologise to the people of Maharashtra.

The BJP’s ally Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena said they have conveyed their unhappiness over the controversy to the BJP. Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has also joined the opposition in slamming the governor’s comment.

In a convocation ceremony in Aurangabad on Saturday, Koshyari referred to Shivaji as a “hero of the past era” while hailing Dr BR Ambedkar and union minister Nitin Gadkari as “present heroes”. “When we were in school, teachers would ask us about our favourite leaders and we would name Subhash Chandra Bose, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. In Maharashtra, if somebody asks you this question, you would not need to go out as Maharashtra is full of such tall leaders. Shivaji has become the hero of the past era. You can find the present heroes right here from Dr BR Ambedkar to (union minister) Nitin Gadkari,” Koshyari had said.

Meanwhile, Trivedi, while defending Savarkar over his clemency petitions, said that the people used to write mercy petitions in a prescribed format to come out of jail at the time (pre-independence period). “Shivaji Maharaj wrote five letters to Aurangzeb. What does that mean?” he said to a news channel.

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday sought to put to rest the controversy saying the Maratha warrior king will always be an idol for Maharashtra. “Till the moon and sun are there, Maharashtra’s icon will always be Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and he is our hero. There is no doubt in anybody’s heart and even that of a governor regarding Shivaji Maharaj as an ideal. Many meanings were derived out of his statements. Even the governor is of the view which we hold,” Fadnavis told media persons.

A video of Trivedi making the statement was posted by NCP leader Jitendra Awhad on Twitter. This led to strong reactions from MVA allies — Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress. NCP workers staged protests at Powai and Solapur among other places. Congress workers also hit the roads to register their protest in Kolhapur and Nashik. NCP also declared a protest march in Mumbai from the historic Azad Maidan to Raj Bhavan, the governor’s residence on Monday. MNS workers too held a protest against Koshyari in Kalyan. Maratha Kranti Morcha activists staged protests near the Shivaji statue at Mumbai Airport.

The controversy has pushed the BJP and Shinde-led Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena (BSS) on the backfoot after their recent attack on Shiv Sena (UBT) for supporting Congress in the backdrop of Rahul Gandhi’s allegations against Veer Savarkar over his clemency petitions to the British.

On Sunday, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut took this opportunity to corner chief minister Eknath Shinde. “The CM should declare when Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj sought apology from Aurangzeb five times? He split Shiv Sena in the name of self-respect. Where is his self-respect now? Even after 72 hours neither CM nor his 40 MLAs could condemn Shivaji Maharaj’s insult by BJP’s national spokesperson and Governor. Are they afraid?” Raut asked, while demanding the CM’s resignation.

The NCP has demanded an apology from the BJP and RSS for the statements made by Koshyari and Trivedi. Rohit Pawar, MLA and grandnephew of NCP president Sharad Pawar said, “This germ (Sudhanshu Trivedi) of the BJP is spreading distorted facts about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Isn’t this a ploy to glorify someone else’s image by throwing mud at our gods one by one?” he wrote in a tweet by posting Trivedi’s picture.

Following criticism from all corners, CM Shinde led Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena (BSS) has raised the issue with the BJP. Kiran Pawaskar, BSS spokesperson said, “Shivaji Maharaj’s insult is not acceptable to us be it Koshyari or Sudhanshu Trivedi and the matter has been raised with the BJP by the CM Shinde himself,” Pawaskar told HT.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Faisal is with the political team and covers state administration and state politics. He also covers NCP.

SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, February 09, 2023
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals