Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari stoked a fresh controversy on Saturday, calling Chhatrapati shivaji Maharaj an ‘old idol’.
Addressing a function at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad on Saturday, the Maharashtra governor said, “If someone asks who your idol is, you don’t have to go out looking for one. You will find them right here in Maharashtra. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj has become an old idol now, you can find new ones — from Babasaheb Ambedkar to (Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways) Nitin Gadkari.”
An emotive and iconic figure in Maharashtra, transcending political affiliations, the governor’s remark on the Maratha warrior did not go down well with leaders.
A spokesperson for the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena condemned the governor’s statement saying he is known to disrespect great leaders.
“Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is not only our deity but our source of inspiration. He will always be the idol for all of us,” Anand Dubey, a spokesman for the Uddhav Sena said in a statement.
“Going by the governor’s statements, even Lord Ram and Lord Krishna have become old idols. Must we find new deities now to worship?” Dubey asked, adding that the governor’s statement should be strongly condemned.