Maharashtra Governor B S Koshyari on Saturday said Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was an icon of “olden days” even as he referred to B R Ambedkar and Union minister Nitin Gadkari while talking about “icons” in the state, drawing criticism from NCP.
Governor Koshyari made the remarks after conferring D.Litt degrees on Mr Gadkari, a senior BJP leader, and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar at an event held in Aurangabad.
”Earlier, when you would be asked who is your icon – Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi used to be the answers. In Maharashtra, you need not look elsewhere (as) there are so many icons here. While Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is of olden time, there are B R Ambedkar and Nitin Gadkari,” the governor said.
महाराष्ट्राचे आराध्यदैवत छत्रपती शिवाजी महाराज यांच्याविषयी अंदाधूंद बोलण्याचा विकार राज्याचे महामहिम राज्यापाल भगत सिंह कोश्यारी यांना जडला आहे. यापूर्वीही त्यांनी केलेल्या वक्तव्यातून राज्यातील सामाजिक शांतता भंग पाडण्याचे काम झालेच. pic.twitter.com/QcvDx7WW7C
— NCP (@NCPspeaks) November 19, 2022
Reacting to the governor’s remark, the Sharad Pawar-led party accused him of demeaning Maharashtra.
Governor Koshyari has also equated Union minister Nitin Gadkari with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the party’s chief spokesman Clyde Crasto said.
“The President of India must seriously think of changing this person (Governor Koshyari) holding a constitutional position, who constantly makes statements that create controversy. The BJP is always silent about his demeaning statements that hurt the sentiments of Maharashtrians,” Mr Crasto said.
Earlier this year, the governor had kicked up a row by questioning who would have asked about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had there not been for his guru Samarth (Ramdas).
He had also faced flak for his remarks that Mumbai will have no money if Gujaratis and Rajasthanis were to leave the city. He later apologised.
With inputs from NDTV