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Amruta Fadnavis defends Maha governor amid row over Shivaji comment

Amid the ongoing row over Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s remark about Shivaji, which drew the ire of several political leaders in the state, Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis’ wife Amruta Fadnavis has expressed support, claiming that he was ‘misinterpreted’ had.

“I know the governor personally. He learned Marathi after coming to Maharashtra. He really likes Marathis. I have experienced this myself. But it has often happened that he said something and interpreted it differently. But he is a Marathi Manoos through and through,” said Amruta Fadnavis, as quoted by NDTV on Friday.

Koshyari caused a storm in the state on Nov. 19 when he called Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj an “ancient idol.”

During a position at the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad, the governor of Maharashtra said, “Earlier, when you were asked who your icon is, the answers were Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi. In Maharashtra, you don’t need to look elsewhere (since) there are so many icons here. While Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is an icon of yesteryear, now there are BR Ambedkar and Nitin Gadkari”.

The statement was not well received by Sena leaders who condemned the governor’s statement, in which he said he is known for disrespecting great leaders.

However, Amruta Fadnavis seems to echo the deputy CM who was criticized on Sunday for appearing to defend the governor.

“One thing is clear: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj will remain a hero and idol of Maharashtra and our country until the sun and moon exist. Not even Koshyari doubted that. So different meanings have been derived from the governor’s comments,” he had said, according to PTI.

This provoked a sharp response from NCP’s Supriya Sule who asked how Fadnavis, a former chief minister, defends Chhatrapati Shivaji’s “insult”.

“I expected more from Fadnavisji. He was the prime minister for five years. You may have a different ideology, but if Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is insulted and if you defend it then it is a pity. In the future, the BJP has no right to take the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” said the leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Pune.

The Eknath Shinde-BJP government has since come under fire for their silence over Koshyari’s comment.

‘Take back Amazon package’

In a devastating attack on Koshyari, Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday urged the center to take back the “Amazon package” they sent in the form of the governor.

Thackeray threatened statewide protests if the governor is not relieved of his duties, saying, “Return this monster or send him to a retirement home.” A slip like that can’t happen every time. The central government must understand that Maharashtra will not sit idly by.”

Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Gaikwad of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s faction also demanded Koshyari be expelled from the state on Monday.

The sentiments of Sena leaders were also echoed by BJP MP Udayanraje Bhosale, a descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who criticized Koshyari and fellow party member Sudhanshu Trivedi for allegedly offensive comments about the iconic 17th century king.

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