Uddhav, Pawar demand recall of Governor Koshyari; Fadnavis decries ‘political colour’ | Mumbai news

Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday urged the Central government to recall Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari whose remarks on Chhatrapati Shivaji have kicked up a row.

Pawar put the onus on President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take action against Koshyari, saying the governor had crossed all limits. Thackeray on the other hand threatened to stage an agitation if the Centre failed to remove Koshyari within the next couple of days.

Amid the political chaos, Koshyari left for Delhi on Thursday on an unscheduled visit.

Earlier this week, Koshyari had said at a function that Shivaji was a past idol and the state now had new idols – from B R Ambedkar to Nitin Gadkai. It invited strong reactions from opposition parties, Maratha outfits, and even descendants of the 16th century Maratha King. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, defended the governor, saying he did not mean to insult Shivaji.

“Governors are representatives of the President. They are expected to be non-partial. Utterances of this governor must be taken seriously by the Centre. Earlier, Koshyari had insulted Marathi people in Mumbai and Thane. He also made insulting remarks on Savitribai Phule. One needs to find out who is behind his rotten brain,” Thackeray said at a press conference.

He said the time had come the governor was sent back, or else, lovers of Maharashtra would unite and protest. If that did not happen in the next two days, his party would resort to a state-wide bandh or take out a morcha, he said. “The Centre must send him home or to an old age home. We won’t sit quiet. In fact, an all-party action like a Maharashtra bandh must be organised.”

Earlier in the day, Pawar said, “It was an irresponsible statement [by Koshyari] and he has crossed all limits. People would have forgiven him if he had said such a thing for the first time. But he is known for such irresponsible statements.’’

The President and the PM should take a decision as it is wrong to keep this responsibility to a person like him, he said.

The BJP, however, refused to budge.

Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “Pawar was present at the function when the governor spoke, but he did not say anything then. They all have woken up after Udayanraje’s [Shivaji’s descendant] letter to the PM and union minister Amit Shah. First, Pawar made a statement then Thackeray had to toe his line. A political colour is being given to this incident. Chhatrapati Shivaji is respected across the country.”

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