Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) leader Sadabhau Khot has said he would attend the event of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the BKC in Mumbai on Saturday, even as his party colleague and MP Raju Shetti took a dig at the BJP for organising the event extravagantly. Modi will lay foundation stones for the grand memorial of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj this afternoon. He will later address a gathering at the BKC in Bandra.
SSS founder Shetti had on Friday taking a jibe at its ally, said he would like to know where was BJP when an American author had allegedly made derogatory statements against Chhatrapti Shivaji, nearly a decade ago. The book, titled, ‘The Shivaji Hindu King in Islamic India’, was later banned after Pune-based Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, which possesses vast scriptures and old documents on the warrior king, was allegedly attacked by activists of Sambhaji Brigade.
The Maratha community outfit later maintained that the institute had provided misinformation which had led the author make derogatory statements against Shivaji in his book. On Shetti’s remarks, Khot, who is Minister of State for Agriculture and Marketing in the state cabinet, said, “The memorial is being set up by the government, which means people have contributed for it. I have been invited for the event and I will be representing farmers. It is an important event, hence, I will be attending the BKC function.”
Another ally of the BJP in the state, Shivsangram Sanghatna led by Vinayak Mete had earlier expressed his displeasure over BJP appropriating the state event. He had even skipped an event in Chembur and stayed away from the following rally on Friday.