Konddeo’s statue to be moved from Lal Mahal
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Thursday passed a resolution to remove the statue of Dadoji Konddeo from Lal Mahal.The resolution was passed despite strong opposition from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.mumbai Updated: Dec 24, 2010 00:58 IST
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Thursday passed a resolution to remove the statue of Dadoji Konddeo from Lal Mahal.
The resolution was passed despite strong opposition from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.
While 54 members from the ruling Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress voted in favour, 37 opposition members were against it.
The move came as a surprise as the ruling alliance had promised in August that a committee of historians would be set up to decide the fate of the statue.
Historians in the state have been divided over Konddeo’s stature as being mentor or teacher of Shivaji.
However, the Sambhaji brigade contended that there was no historic evidence available to prove that Konddeo, a Brahmin by birth, was Shivaji’s guru. The claimed that that “Konddeo’s statue at Lal Mahal was creating a wrong picture”.
Konddeo's statue is part of a sculpture depicting Shivaji, along with Jijamata, tilling the soil of Pune with a golden plough at Lal Mahal.
On August 26, Pune mayor Mohansingh Rajpal had said the statue would be removed within 24 hours. However, after receiving flack he said a committee of expert would take the decision.
After the resolution, the Shiv Sena termed the development “unfortunate”. “This is Brahmin-non Brahmin politics being played by the ruling parties. If they think they will benefit from the situation, they are wrong,” said Neelam Gorhe, senior Sena leader.
Former BJP leader and a senior corporator Ujjwal Keskar said, “What has happened is illegal and therefore can not be implemented.”
However, Shantaram Kunjir, member of the Sambhaji brigade, said: “We had discussed the issue with deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and he had agreed to it.”
Congress corporator Deepak Mankar, who first moved the resolution, said, “This issue had been pending for a long time. Thursday’s development is in accordance with the line taken by the state government.”
NCP leader and MLC Anil Bhosale said: “This is positive decision and is not directed against any caste or religion.”