Updated: Sun, 20 Nov 2022 03:25 PM IST
UDDHAV Thcakeray's faction Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday demanded the removal of the Governor of Maharashtra, Bhagat Singh Koshyari for "insulting" Maratha leader Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He also demanded Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's resignation.
Speaking to the media, Raut asked Shinde had the "self-respect" that he had cited while rebelling against Uddhav Thackeray.
He took a jibe at the Maharastra government for keeping "silent" on the issue, Raut said, "The Governor has insulted Shivaji Maharaj four times in one year. Still, the government is silent. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah consider Shivaji Maharaj an idol and their national spokesperson said that Shivaji Maharaj apologised to Aurangzeb five times. Is this the BJP's official stand? BJP should apologise to Maharashtra and remove the Governor right away."
He also accused the BJP of "insulting" Shivaji Maharaj openly and asked Shinde to resign from the post of Chief Minister.
"I am surprised that the Chief Minister, who gave the slogan of self-respect, broke Shiv Sena and formed the government with the BJP, where has your self-respect gone now? The BJP is openly insulting Shivaji Maharaj. You should resign. If you have any respect for Shivaji Maharaj, why are you in the government with them?" he said.
This came after Governor Koshiyari triggered a controversy on Saturday by calling the Maratha ruler an "old idol".
On Saturday, addressing a function at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad, the Maharashtra governor said, "If someone asks who your idol is, you don't have to go out looking for one. You will find them right here in Maharashtra. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj has become an old idol now, you can find new ones -- from Babasaheb Ambedkar to (Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways) Nitin Gadkari."
Koshiyari attracted sharp criticism for his remark. A spokesperson for the Uddhav Thackeray faction condemned the remark, saying the Governor is known for disrespecting great leaders.
"Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is not only our deity but also our source of inspiration. He will always be the idol for all of us," Anand Dubey, a spokesman of the Uddhav Thackeray faction had said in a statement.
"Going by the Governor's statements, even Lord Ram and Lord Krishna have become old idols. Must we find new deities now to worship?" Dubey asked adding that the Governor's statement should be strongly condemned.
(With inputs from ANI)