Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari created a political storm in the state after his recent remarks about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Addressing a gathering on 19 November, Governor Koshyari sparked outrage by referring to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as an ‘icon of olden times’. The Maharashtra governor said, when asked by a teacher during his school days, to name their favorite leader and hero, people used to name Subhash Chandra Bose, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi. If the same question is asked today, there is no need to go out of state to find these icons.
Demand for Apologies
The remark sparked outrage from both the descendants of the Maratha king and the opposition parties. Udayanraje Bhonsle, one of the descendants of the Maratha king, demanded the Center to take action against Koshyari. Sambhaji Raje Chhatrapati, a direct descendant of Shivaji Maharaj, asked the governor to apologize for his comments, while Shivendrasinh Bhonsle said it was an attempt to divert public attention. Interestingly, all the three leaders are associated with the BJP.
This is not the first time Koshyari has courted controversy over his remarks. In July, Koshyari said that if Gujaratis and Rajasthanis were excluded from Mumbai, there would be no money left in Mumbai and it would cease to be India’s financial capital. His remarks drew criticism from several opposition parties, with former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray saying it was time to show him the famous ‘Kolhapuri slippers.’
The governor’s office later issued a clarification in which Koshyari said he was only speaking about the contributions made by Gujaratis and Rajasthanis. He said that Marathi people have contributed with their hard work in the construction of Maharashtra.
A Bandh has been called in Maharashtra tomorrow to protest against Koshyari’s remarks about Shivaji Maharaj. Along with this, there is a plan to take out a morcha against the governor this week. Maharashtra political parties have demanded President Draupadi Murmu and the central government to remove him from the post. Meanwhile, he has written a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah seeking his advice.
Koshyari’s Letter To Amit Shah
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has written a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the midst of politics regarding his remarks on Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Koshyari apprised Shah about the whole incident and sought his advice. He has said in the letter that he could never even dream of insulting personalities like Shivaji Maharaj and Maharana Pratap.
Seeks Advice From Home Minister
According to media reports, Governor Koshyari had written this letter on December 6, which has now come to the fore. He said that some people are creating controversy over a part of his speech delivered at a university function. If he had made any mistake, even unknowingly, he would not have held back from apologizing immediately. Koshyari said in the letter that when I wanted to withdraw from active politics, it was you (Amit Shah) who entrusted me with the responsibility of the governor. Now I am being criticized. In such a situation, you tell me what I should do now. Should I continue in the office or not?
It is noteworthy that Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari remains in discussions about his statements. The Center is extremely angry with his attitude, as the possibility of a rift in the Devendra Fadnavis- Eknath Shinde government has increased after his remarks about Shivaji Maharaj. Meanwhile, the Maha Vikas Aghadi has called for a Bandh tomorrow. Maha Vikas Aghadi has called for Maharashtra bandh tomorrow i.e. Tuesday, 13 December. This call is also supported by the trade community.