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Sena leader wants ban on book insulting Shivaji
Mumbai/New Delhi: Terming the book comparing Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as “insulting”, senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Monday demanded that it be banned and asked the warrior king’s descendants to clarify their stand over the issue.
Talking to reporters here, Raut said comparison of Shivaji Maharaj with anyone was “not acceptable”, and the book seemed to be the handiwork of some “bootlickers” to appease the prime minister.
He said the BJP should declare that it has no link with the book, titled Aaj ke Shivaji: Narendra Modi, written by BJP leader Jay Bhagwan Goyal. The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, which are part of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government, have criticised the book.
“A BJP leader has written the book titled Aaj Ke Shivaji: Narendra Modi, which we find insulting. The party should clarify whether it considers Prime Minister Narendra Modi as great as Shivaji Maharaj,” Raut said, adding, “We respect Prime Minister Modi. But comparing Shivaji Maharaj with anyone is not acceptable.”
Without taking any names, Raut targeted the warrior king’s descendants — BJP’s Rajya Sabha member Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje and former Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale, who recently joined the BJP after quitting the NCP.
“Chhatrapati Shivaji’s descendants should clarify if they like Modi being compared to him. They should quit the BJP over the book,” he said.
Raut also said that it looks like some ‘bootlickers’ have published the book to appease the prime minister.
Demanding that the book be banned, Raut said he has spoken to Shiv Sena president and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray over the issue.
“He (Thackeray) told me that Sena has taken the right stand and we are going to stick to it. This book should be banned and the BJP should officially distance itself from such a book and the narrative it is pushing forward,” he added.
Raut said the book’s author Jay Bhagwan Goyal was once with the Shiv Sena, but was removed from the party after he allegedly attacked the Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi.
The descendants of Shivaji Maharaj from Satara and Kolhapur are affiliated with the BJP. They should speak out their views on the issue, he said.
Meanwhile, BJP MLA Shivendraraje Bhosale, who is also a descendant of the Maratha warrior king and is the cousin of Udayanraje Bhosale, said it was unfortunate that some ‘bootlickers’ were creating a problem for the party’s image.
Workers of the Nationalist Congress Party(NCP)’s youth wing on Monday, on the other hand, staged a demonstration in Latur in Maharashtra against the book Aaj ke Shivaji: Narendra Modi, de manding “strong action” against the author of the book.
“The author has insulted the great king and hurt all ‘Shiv Bhakts’ by comparing Narendra Modi with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” they said.
NCP’s state ministers Chhagan Bhujbal and Jitendra Awhad, including senior Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde had also expressed their disappointment earlier over such a book being published by a BJP leader.
BJP says author
has withdrawn book
Meanwhile, the BJP on Monday said the author of the book, which has drawn flak from opposition for comparing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji, has withdrawn the publication, as the party sought to defuse the raging controversy over it.
“The BJP has nothing to do with the book which was brought by Jai Bhagwan Goyal (author) in his personal capacity. He has also apologised for hurting sentiments of people in Maharashtra and outside. He has withdrawn the book. This should put the controversy to rest,” Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said. (PTI)