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Governor Koshyari’s Shivaji remark: Udayanraje Bhosale’s sentiments have been conveyed, says Devendra Fadnavis

Rajya Sabha MP Udayanraje Bhosale had said those who defame national heroes like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj should be punished under the sedition law.

Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis (Express photo by Bhupendra Rana)

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has expressed solidarity with Rajya Sabha MP Udayanraje Bhosale, who had broken down before media persons over alleged objectionable comments against Chhatrapati Shivaji by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

“His (Bhosale) sentiments on Shivaji Maharaj have been conveyed… We totally agree that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj holds a special place in our mind and heart,” said Fadnavis.

Although Fadnavis did not elaborate on his statement, it is believed that the Centre has been apprised of the angry reactions triggered in Maharashtra over Koshyari calling Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj an icon “of olden times”.

Fadnavis said, “We hold Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the highest esteem. We deeply respect him and draw great inspiration from Shivaji’s life and works. He remains our guiding force.”

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“Udayanraje Bhosale hails from the royal clan. A member of the royal family of Shivaji can never become helpless. After all, Shivaji Maharaj’s life and works bring strength to an individual’s life. There cannot be a greater warrior king than Shivaji Maharaj,” Fadnavis added.

Last week, during his speech at Dr Ambedkar Marathwada University, Koshyari said: “Earlier, when you would be asked who is your icon — Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, and Mahatma Gandhi used to be the answer. Whereas in Maharashtra, you need not look elsewhere (as) there are so many icons here… while Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is of olden times, there are icons such as Ambedkar and Nitin Gadkari in modern times.”

The governor’s statement evoked a sharp and angry backlash across political parties.

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On Monday, Bhosale, who is a direct descendant of Shivaji Maharaj, said: “Sometimes I wonder if it would have been better had I not lived to see these days… when Shivaji Maharaj is being insulted.”

He urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Droupadi Murmu and Fadnavis to ensure Koshyari was transferred out of Maharashtra. “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is revered by one and all in Maharashtra. How can people remain silent when Shivaji Maharaj is subjected to insults,” he said.

“Those who indulge in activities against the nation are charged under sedition law. On similar lines, those who defame national heroes like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj also should be punished under the sedition law,” he said.

First published on: 29-11-2022 at 12:36 IST
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