Congress-BJP slugfest over Shivaji statue in MP after Fadnavis attacks Kamal Nath government
Fadnavis had asked the MP government for the statue’s immediate restoration “on the very same place” and demanded the government’s “apology”.Updated: Feb 14, 2020 19:12 IST
A day after former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis slammed Madhya Pradesh government for the removal of a Chhatrapati Shivaji statue in Chhindwara, Nakul Nath, the Congress MP from the area promised on Friday to install a life-size statue on his own expenses.
“At Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s instructions a life-size statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharajji will be installed at Mohgaon triangular crossing with a grand function. The entire expenses will be borne by me,” said Nakul Nath, Kamal Nath’s son.
Fadnavis had asked the MP government for the statue’s immediate restoration “on the very same place” and demanded the government’s “apology”.
“People of India will not tolerate such insult of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” he had said.
The political atmosphere in the state heated up after a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji installed on Monday at Mohgaon crossing in Sausar town by a youth organization was removed by the local civic body the next day.
BJP national vice-president Shivraj Singh Chouhan has rejected Nakul Nath’s offer and said the “followers” of Chhatrapati Shivaji were capable of installing his statue if the state government was not willing to reinstall it.
“Either the state government installs the statue at its expenses and with great respect to the warrior or the followers of Chhatrapati Shivaji will do the same on their own expenses. This is a Congress culture- first causing insult and then flaunting money power,” Chouhan said.
State Congress president’s media coordinator Narendra Saluja accused the BJP of playing politics on the matter.
“The civic body resolved unanimously to install a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji on February 11 but the BJP is playing politics on the same,” he said.
The political slugfest over Chhatrapati Shivaji statue comes close on the heels of a controversy over freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad’s statue in Bhopal.
The authorities from Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) installed a statue of late Arjun Singh at the triangular crossing in November last year but before it could be unveiled, the BJP objected calling it an insult to the great freedom fighter Azad whose statue was installed earlier at the place.
The Congress leaders said Azad’s statue had been shifted from the place during the BJP regime itself to facilitate the widening of the road. Due to the protests Arjun Singh statue still stands wrapped up with no decision taken on its unveiling.