Even as Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray slammed Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for his controversial remarks on Mumbai, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde Saturday distanced himself from the row, saying he does not agree with the governor’s remarks.
“We don’t agree with Koshyari’s remarks. It’s his personal view. He has now issued a clarification. He occupies a constitutional post and should take care that his actions do not insult others. The Marathi community’s hard work has contributed to the development and progress of Mumbai….No one can insult Mumbai and Marathi people,” news agency PTI quoted Shinde as saying.
Earlier in the day, Thackeray demanded an apology from the Governor, alleging that he was working to divide communities.
“I am not satisfied with his explanation. Governor must apologise. He has not only hurt the sentiments of the Marathi people but he also divided Hindus. The Governor takes an oath of office. Is it his work to divide communities? If it is an offence, then he should be punished by law,” Thackeray said.
#WATCH | If Gujaratis and Rajasthanis are removed from Maharashtra, especially Mumbai and Thane, no money would be left here. Mumbai would not be able to remain the financial capital of the country: Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari pic.twitter.com/l3SlOFMc0v
— ANI (@ANI) July 30, 2022
Demanding to know the position of the Eknath Shinde-led government over the issue, Thackeray stated: “I want to know what these neo-Hindus who have come to power in Maharashtra think about this. The government must clarify its stand. If this parcel from Delhi is dividing communities, then he should be sent back. And if has committed crime then he should be punished.”
While addressing a gathering in Mumbai’s Andheri on Friday, Koshyari said, “… if Gujarati and Rajasthani people are removed from Maharashtra, especially Mumbai and Thane, there would be no money left here. You call Mumbai the financial capital, but if these (Gujarati and Rajasthani) people are not here, then it won’t be called financial capital.”
However, on Saturday, the Governor clarified that his remarks had been “misconstrued” and asked political parties “not to create controversy”. “I had no intention to look down upon Marathi people. I merely spoke about the contribution of Gujarati and Rajasthani people. It is the Marathi population which has developed Maharashtra to its present position… there is no question of demeaning Marathi people.”
The former Chief Minister, who had locked horns with Koshyari several times during his tenure, also said, “It is time to show him the Kolhapuri chappal and decide how to use it.”
Thackeray added that he thanks the Governor for unknowingly opening up the secret of Delhi that people there have eyes on Mumbai only because of the money there. “I don’t know who writes his speeches. Whether it is Mumbai or Delhi. It seems like an attempt to polarise votes prior to the elections.”