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Sanjay Raut slaps CM Shinde amid row over Governor’s ‘Shivaji’ comment

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut of the Uddhav Thackeray faction on Sunday demanded the removal of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari over his “old idol” comment on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and also demanded that Chief Minister Eknath Shinde resign.

Raut’s comment came after Koshyari sparked controversy on Saturday by calling Shivaji an “ancient idol” of Maharashtra.

This comment was not well received by the political leaders in the state and Raut lashed out at CM Shinde for remaining silent on the matter. Speaking to the media, he asked Shinde if he has the “self-respect” he had mentioned when he stood up against Uddhav Thackeray.

The hardliner, who was released from jail just weeks ago in the Patra Chawl scam case, said, “The governor has insulted Shivaji Maharaj four times in a year. Yet the government is silent. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah consider Shivaji Maharaj an idol and their national spokesman said Shivaji Maharaj has apologized to Aurangzeb five times. Is this the official position of the BJP? BJP should apologize to Maharashtra and remove the governor immediately.”

“I am surprised that the Chief Minister who uttered the self-respect slogan broke Shiv Sena and formed the government with BJP, where has your self-respect gone now? The BJP openly insults Shivaji Maharaj. You should resign. If you have any respect for Shivaji Maharaj then why are you in government with them?” he told ANI.

Taking a jab at the BJP over their protests against Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on Savarkar, he said, “BJP is carrying out protests against Rahul Gandhi’s remarks against Veer Savarkar. They strike out with shoes. Now the shoes should go to the Raj Bhavan of from which remarks are made against Shivaji Maharaj.”

“Then you are Maharashtra’s son, otherwise you are fake,” he added.

Maharashtra Governor Koshyari addressed a function at the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad when he made the controversial remark.

“If someone asks who your idol is, you don’t have to look for it. You can find them here in Maharashtra. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj has now become an old idol, you can find new ones – from Babasaheb Ambedkar to (Union Minister) Nitin Gadkari,” he had said.

His comment was condemned by several leaders, including a spokesman for the Uddhav Thackeray, who said the governor is known for disrespecting great leaders.

Meanwhile, the NCP reportedly put up banners in Pune offering Rs 1 lakh for the “governors dhoti” while condemning his statement.

(With input from the agency)

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