Mumbai: Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party MLC Prasad Lad has stoked a controversy by claiming Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born in the Konkan region, prompting Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut to ask if the BJP had set up a new council for historical research.
It is a known fact that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born at Shivneri in Pune district (of western Maharashtra) and died at Raigad in the Konkan region of the state, Raut told reporters.
Facing over flak over his comments, Lad in a video message posted on his Twitter handle on Sunday said, “I offer my apology if I have hurt anyone’s sentiments.”
Konkan was the “karma bhoomi” of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, he tweeted. One cannot forget that the seeds of ‘swarajya’ were sown in Konkan, Lad said.
“I spoke something else unintentionally and I rectified the mistake immediately,” the BJP legislator said.
In the video message, Lad also criticised the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) for “politicising” the issue.
The NCP had tweeted a video of Lad addressing a press conference on the ‘Konkan Mahotsav’ where he made the comment on the birth place of the 17th century Maratha warrior king, a revered figure in Maharashtra.
The Sharad Pawar-led party said the BJP should teach history to its own legislators instead of preaching about it to others.
Asked about Lad’s remarks, Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut wondered if the BJP wanted to rewrite history and had set up a new council for historical research.
“It is a known fact Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born in Shivneri in Pune district and died at Raigad in Konkan,” Raut said.
“The chief minister (Eknath Shinde) has set up a NITI Aayog-like panel in Maharashtra and appointed his builder friend to head it,” he said.
Last month, there was a political slugfest in Maharashtra after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari said Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was an icon of “olden days”, a remark dubbed as an “insult” to the Maratha king.
State Tourism Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha had also faced criticism for his recent remarks on Shivaji Maharaj.
Raut had on Friday also criticised the BJP for maintaining “silence” over alleged objectionable remarks made against Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj by some public figures and said these “insults” to the Maratha warrior king will be avenged.
Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole had on Thursday accused the BJP of “insulting” the Maratha warrior king and demanded the resignation of the saffron party’s MLAs and MPs.