INDIA. Mumbai: NCP President Sharad Pawar requested the Centre to recall the Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for his alleged demeaning remarks against the Maharashtra icons, including Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Dr. B R Ambedkaar and Mahatma Phule, on Saturday.
Addressing a massive morcha organized by the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) in south Mumbai as a protest of Koshyari’s utterances, growing unemployment, and the flare of the Maharashtra-Karnataka boundary row, following Karnataka CM’s provocative statements, Pawar said that in his 55 years political career he did not come across the Governor like Koshyari who was out to obliterate the Maharashtra history.
Some other Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) minister says that Ambedkar, Phule, and other social reformists begged and collected alms to run their educational institutes. “This was an insult to the great reformists whose work is etched out in the history of Maharashtra in the last 350 years,” Pawar said.
Ambedkar set up a network of educational institutes in Marathwada, Phule carried out educational transformation in Pune, and the work of Karmveer Bhaurao Patil encompassed the entire state. Today over 4 lakh students are receiving education in these institutes.
Koshyari is making baseless statements, the Karnataka CM makes statements about the vexed border row pending in the court, and the Eknath Shinde-BJP Govt has been keeping mum, Pawar said. He added that in these circumstances, the best option is to recall Koshyari by the Union Government.
Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray, in his speech, lambasted Koshyari and the leaders of the Eknath Shinde-BJP Government, saying that they had become intellectually bankrupt and were indulging in baseless statements in disregard to the glorious history of Maharashtra.
He added, “In any case, the Eknath Shinde Govt is unconstitutional and corrupt (Khoke Sarkar).” Khokha is an archaic mafia lexicon to describe Rs one crore, and the Eknath Shinde and the MLAs who defected from the Shiv Sena are being accused of collecting money to stage a rebellion.
It may be recalled that Koshyari, while addressing the convocation of a university in Aurangabad, had recently said that Chhatrapati Shivaji was an old icon and now a new generation can take inspiration from the new icons like Dr. Ambedkar and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.
The Maharashtra Minister for Higher and Technical Education Chandrakant Patil had said that the educational institutes should not depend upon the Govt grant since Ambedkar and Phule begged and collected money to run their educational institutes.
Besides, Koshyari had earlier said that Mahatma Phule and Savitribai Phule married in childhood. He added, “At such a young age, what they would do?”
He had also said that “what would have been the position of Shivaji if Sant Ramdas was not his political Guru ?” BJP spokesman Sudhanshu Trivedi said that Chhatrapati Shivaji had apologised to Mughal King Afzal Khan many times.
On top of this, BJP Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha from Maharashtra had equated the rebellion by Eknath Shinde with the great escape of Chhatrapati Shivaji and his son Sambhaji from the Agra Fort in 1666, which had left Mughal emperor Aurangzeb baffled.
NCP leader Ajit Pawar, State Congress President Nana Patole, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, and others addressed the morcha. Uddhav Thackeray’s wife Rashmi Thackeray, his son MLA Aditya Thackeray, NCP MP Supriya Sule, and a host of others walked several km along with the morcha.
This was the first morcha by the MVA after its government was toppled by the BJP in June this year. The morcha, which began from Byculla, culminated in a rally near Aza Maidan in South Mumbai.
In response, the agitations were staged by BJP at Dadar in Central Mumbai and Kandivali in North Mumbai, claiming that the MVA leaders were insulting the Hindu deities and, as such, should tender an apology to the people of Maharashtra.