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Shivaji vis-a-vis Modi: Congress to agitate against BJP (Lead)
Mumbai, Jan 13 (IANS) Taking strong umbrage at a book ‘Aajke Shivaji: Narendra Modi’ released by a Bharatiya Janata Party activist, the Maharashtra Congress announced a state-wide agitation on Tuesday to protest against what it termed a "contempt" of the great Maratha king, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
State Congress President and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said attempts were made even in the past by some BJP activists like Ajay kumar Bisht and Vijay Goel to make such comparisons.
"Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is a revered idol of the masses in the state. Those who sought votes in his name are now making mischievous attempts to insult him in this manner," said Thorat sharply.
He alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been playing selfish politics, held the nation at ransom with the CAA-NRC, dividing people on religious lines, harassed the masses after demonetisation, and ruling the country in an autocratic manner and "can never be compared with the great Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj".
On the other hand, Thorat said Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj united peoples of all religions to pave the way for ‘Swarajya’, so Modi cannot be equated with even a ‘toe-nail’ of the great Maratha King.
"The BJP did not even spare the Chhatrapati Memorial of a scam and it has lost the moral right to even utter the great Maratha King’s name. We shall protest against the BJP in all cities, districts and talukas tomorrow (Jan 14)," Thorat announced.
Earlier, top leaders of Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress slammed the BJP after the book, penned by Jai Bhagwan Goyal kicked off a huge political storm in Maharashtra.
Sena’s Sanjay Raut asked whether this was "acceptable" to the descendents of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Satara and Kolhapur dynasties (thrones) like Udayanraje Bhosale and Shivendraraje Bhosale, respectively, and urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to intervene and recall the book.
NCP state President and Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil said: "Tall and vast as the Sahyadri mountain ranges, my king cannot be compared with anybody. Keep this in mind, or else, You have to face Maharashtra."
NCP’s Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad burst out: "Have they lost their mind?, while Congress General Secretary Sanjay Dutt demanded to know why the BJP or its Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis have not yet condemned the development and kept silent.
Congress’ state spokesperson Sachin Sawant called it "an insult to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s philosophy," and NCP’s national spokesperson and Minorities Development Minister Nawab Malik demanded that "the offensive book must be immediately banned".
Based in New Delhi, the author of the book Goyal is a former Shiv Sena leader who had quit the party in 2008 to protest against its anti-north Indian stance and joined BJP in 2014.