Sanjay Raut’s “Self-Respect” Jab At Eknath Shinde Amid Row Over ‘Shivaji’

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Sanjay Raut's 'Self-Respect' Jab At Eknath Shinde Amid Row Over 'Shivaji'

The Governor insulted Shivaji Maharaj four times in one year, said Sanjay Raut. (File)

Mumbai:

Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray’s faction) leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday demanded the removal of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari over an “old idol” remark on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He also demanded Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s resignation.

Speaking to the media, Mr Raut asked Mr Shinde if he has the “self-respect” that he had cited while rebelling against Uddhav Thackeray.

Mr Raut’s remark came after Mr Koshyari triggered a controversy on Saturday by calling the Maratha ruler an “old idol”.

Slamming the Maharashtra government for keeping “silent” on the issue, Mr 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.”

Accusing the BJP of “insulting” Shivaji Maharaj openly, Mr Raut asked Mr Shinde to step down as the 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.

On Saturday, Mr Raut took a jibe at the BJP and said that his party is protesting against Rahul Gandhi’s remarks against Veer Savarkar, and they should now protest against the Raj Bhavan.

“His statement is an insult to Maharashtra and Shivaji Maharaj. BJP is carrying out protests against Rahul Gandhi’s remarks against Veer Savarkar. They are hitting out with shoes. Now the shoes should go to the Raj Bhavan from where remarks are being made against Shivaji Maharaj. Then, you are the son of Maharashtra, otherwise, you are fake,” Mr Raut said.

Addressing a function at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad, the Maharashtra Governor had remarked that Shivaji Maharaj has become an “old idol” and the new ones could be found in Babasaheb Ambedkar to Nitin Gadkari.

“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) Nitin Gadkari,” he had said.

The remark on the Maratha ruler did not go down well with political leaders. 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?” Mr Dubey asked, adding that the Governor’s statement should be strongly condemned.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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