BJP leader calls PM Modi ‘Shivaji’, faces flak
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jai Bhagwan Goyal stirred up a political controversy on Sunday after he drew comparisons between the prime minister and Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in his book — Aaj Ke Shivaji - Narendra Modi — released at the party headquarters in New Delhi on Sunday. Goyal received criticism from all political parties in Maharashtra, including his former party, the Shiv Sena.
Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe has filed a complaint against Goyal and the publisher in Nagpur’s Nandanvan police station, and demanded a ban on the book. Londhe said, “It is clear that through the book, Modi has been equated to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Shivaji Maharaj is an idol for scores of people and such an attempt has hurt our sentiments. Equating Modi with Shivaji Maharaj is an insult to latter’s work and principals.”
Slamming the BJP, Sena MP Sanjay Raut trained his guns on the descendants of Shivaji, Udayanraje Bhosale and Shivendra Raje Bhosale, both members of the BJP, and questioned if they agreed with the comparison. In a series of tweets, he said, “This man has compared Modi to Shivaji Maharaj. Is this acceptable to Maharaj’s descendants who have entered the BJP? The Maharashtra BJP should at least take a stand on this. Nobody can be equated to Shivaji Maharaj. There is one sun, one moon, and only one Shivaji Maharaj.”
The Congress, too, condemned the book. “It is an attempt to show [Shivaji] Maharaj’s achievements are lesser. Apart from that, it also shows the mentality of the BJP,” said Sachin Sawant, spokesperson of Maharashtra Congress. NCP leader and state minister Jitendra Awhad posted a picture of the book release and tweeted, “Have they lost their mind”. His party colleague and social justice minister Dhananjay Munde said, “They [BJP] will not be pardoned. (sic)”
BJP state president Chandrakant Patil, however, told HT, “How is it connected to the BJP? Someone must have written a book.”