‘Shocked, surprised’: Sharad Pawar writes to PM Modi over Maharashtra guv’s letter to Thackeray
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had written to Uddhav Thackeray on Monday regarding the reopening of places of worship in the western state.Updated: Oct 13, 2020, 21:31 IST
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s letter to the state’s chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, saying he was “shocked and surprised” at the language used.
Governor Koshyari had written to Thackeray on Monday regarding the reopening of places of worship in the western state. Pawar, who is an ally of Thackeray’s Shiv Sena, talked about the “intemperate language” used by Koshyari.
“In the very Preamble of our Constitution the word ‘secular’ is added that equates and shields all religions and hence the Chair of the Chief Minister must uphold such tenets of the Constitution. Unfortunately Hon. Governor’s letter to the Chief Minister invokes the connotation as if written to the leader of a political party. I firmly believe that in a democracy, free exchange of views between the Hon. Governor and the Hon. Chief Minister must take place,” Pawar said in his letter to PM Modi.
“However the tone and tenor used must always be in keeping with the stature of the constitutional post occupied by the individuals. Looking at the turn of events the Chief Minister in fact was left with no option but to release his reply to the Hon Governor in the press. I fully endorse the decision of the Hon.Chief Minister on this issue,” he said.
The NCP leader said he has not discussed this matter either with the Koshyari or Thackeray, however, he felt that “I must share my pain with you and the public at the erosion of standards of conduct by the high constitutional office of the Hon. Governor.”
Pawar also added the governor’s letter to Thackeray in his letter to PM Modi. “You have been a strong votary of Hindutva. You had publicly espoused your devotion for Lord Rama by visiting Ayodhya after taking charge as Chief Minister. You had visited the Vitthal Rukmini Mandir in Pandharpur and performed the puja on Ashadhi Ekadashi,” Koshyari had said. “I wonder if you are receiving any divine premonition to keep postponing the reopening of the places of worship time and again or have you suddenly turned ‘secular ‘ yourselves, the term you hated?” the governor had asked.
Thackeray responded to Koshyari’s letter on the issue said he does not need a “certificate” on Hindutva from the governor and that his Hindutva does not permit him to welcome a person who called Mumbai ‘Pakistan occupied Kashmir’.
The last bit in Thackeray’s letter was an apparent reference to Koshyari’s meeting with Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut in September after she was criticised by many Maharashtra politicians for comparing Mumbai with PoK. Ranaut had made the comment criticising Mumbai Police for its investigation into actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.