Earlier this month, Hervad village and then Mangaon village, both in Kolhapur district, had passed resolutions banning funerary customs linked to widows such as wiping off the vermillion and breaking their bangles.
Though the Sena has named a party leader instead of Chhatrapati Shivaji’s direct descendant after he rejected its condition that he should join the party, either the ruling party or the BJP is likely to back the Maratha leader’s candidature at the last moment.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief said if he had still decided to visit Ayodhya, many would have followed him. He added that though the loudspeaker problem has ceased for now, the MNS will have to remain on alert.
NCP leaders including Pawar, Amol Mitkari and Chhagan Bhujbal have drawn the Brahmin community’s ire over recent remarks they made in connection with Chhatrapati Shivaji and on priests. At the meeting, Pawar will attempt to clear the air, party leaders said.
"I am firm on contesting the election as an independent candidate. I have, through a letter written to all political parties, sought their support to my candidature," Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati told The Indian Express on Wednesday.
Ketaki Chitale - Sharad Pawar controversy: As the actor repeatedly makes controversial comments, artists in the Marathi film and TV industries say that Ketaki Chitale might be drawing support from certain quarters.
In fact, Mangaon has gone a step ahead of Hervard. While Hervard left the implementation of the ban on the villagers, Mangaon in Hatkanangle taluka is offering sops to those who free widows from the age-old customs in the form of property tax and water tax waiver for a year.
Given Sambhajiraje's Shivaji links, no Maharashtra party can afford to antagonise him. The BJP in fact helped him to the Rajya Sabha seat last time as a presidential nominee, as a way of neutralising the Maratha quota agitation against its government in the state.
The sarpanch said that widows in the rural hinterland are still forced to lead a life of seclusion and even her own relatives often shun her during social or religious functions. “This makes widows feel guilty for no fault of theirs,” he added.
"It is true that Mahatma Jyotirao Phule discovered the samadhi of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1869. But it was Lokmanya Tilak who initiated the process of renovating it," Rohit Tilak, the great-grandson of Lokmanya Tilak, said on Tuesday.
Ahead of MNS chief Raj Thackeray's May 1 rally in Aurangabad, AIMIM MP and Aurangabad MP Imtiaz Jaleel tells The Indian Express that the issue of loudspeakers in mosques is not a major one for the Muslim community.
After an overnight stay in Pune, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief is expected to start for Aurangabad on Saturday morning. The rally is being held in backdrop of the ultimatum given by Raj Thackeray to pull down loudspeakers from mosques by May 3.