Amid vehement criticism of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari over his “Shivaji an idol of olden days” remarks, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday said Shivaji is our god. The minister received appreciation from Koshyari when he said Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is icon of the olden days, now there are BR Ambedkar and Nitin Gadkari.
“Shivaji Maharaj is our god…We revere him even more than our parents,” NDTV quoted Gadkari as saying.
Koshyari had, on Saturday, said Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was an icon of “olden days” and referred to Babasaheb Ambedkar and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari while talking about “icons” in the state, drawing criticism from the NCP and Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction.
“Earlier, when you were asked who your icon is, the answers would be Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi. In Maharashtra, you need not look elsewhere (as) there are so many icons here. While Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is icon of the olden days, now there are BR Ambedkar and Nitin Gadkari,” the Maharashtra Governor had said.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Gaikwad of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s faction on Monday demanded that Koshyari be shifted out of the state. Gaikwad, who represents the Buldhana Assembly constituency, claimed that Koshyari had made statements about the founder of the Maratha empire and stoked controversy in the past as well.
“The governor should understand that the ideals of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj never age and he cannot be compared to any other great person in the world. My request to BJP leaders at the Centre is that a person who does not know the history of the state and how it functions, be sent somewhere else,” the MLA said.
Shinde is an MLA of the Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena faction of the party led by Shinde who helms the government in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
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