The Shiv Sena blamed the BJP Tuesday for playing politics on the Shivaji memorial issue. In an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana, the Sena claimed that the BJP was trying to usurp the legacy of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji for its political benefit. “The memorial should not fall prey to selfish politics. During the function when Shiv Sainiks and followers of Shivaji were raising slogans of ‘Jai Bhavani Jai Shivaji’, members of the ruling party were raising slogans of (Narendra) Modi. We understand the importance of (Prime Minister) Modi to the BJP. They have grown only because of Modi tonic. Even if this is true, can you compare someone to Shivaji Maharaj,” said the editorial.
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The editorial also cautioned parties against using Shivaji’s name for electoral benefit.
“We have only one thing to say to Maharashtra’s politicians: Don’t use Chhattrapati for petty politics. He is a deity. People who try to own him will have to eat dirt. Maharashtra’s 11 crore people and the world’s Hindus are the real heirs of his legacy,” said the editorial.
The write-up also claimed that many of the BJP’s own allies were raising questions over the BJP appropriation of Shivaji’s legacy.
“Many of this government’s own allies have raised a sword of discontent over the jalpujan programme that took place in the PM’s presence. Was it a memorial programme or an election campaign of the BJP? Does any party have unilateral rights over Shivaji is what (MP) Raju Shetti asked. Even Vinayak Mete, chairman of the Shivaji memorial committee, walked away in a huff from the memorial rally,” said the edit.
It also took a swipe at Modi over his birthday greetings to Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif. “Shivaji never sent birthday greetings to Aurangazeb or Afzal Khan,” the edit said.