Shiv Sena questions BJP’s ‘silence’ over Shivaji statue removal

The Shiv Sena charged former ally BJP with using names of iconic figures only for political interest.

Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Tuesday said the “silence” of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s devotees in Maharashtra BJP over the removal of his statue in Karnataka is worrying and asked what is the use of such “fake devotion”.

An editorial in Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had lauded Shivaji Maharaj in his speech after he performed the ‘bhoomi pujan’ for Ram temple construction in Ayodhya on August 5.

Shivaji Maharaj’s statue at Mangutti village in Belgaum district of the BJP-ruled Karnataka was, however, removed “as if the Babri mosque was brought down”, it said, and termed the BJPs love for the warrior king as pretentious.

It also recalled that Maharashtra BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis earlier this year called for the then Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Naths apology after a bust of the legendary Maratha king was removed in Chhindwara district.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa is not even being condemned, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said.

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“The episode of removal of Shivaji Maharajs statue overnight is worrying. More worrying is the silence of Shivbhakts (devotees of Shivaji Maharaj) in the Maharashtra BJP,” it said.

The Shiv Sena said the BJP would have caused chaos in Maharashtras Sangli or Satara (located near Karnataka) in case such an incident had taken place in Karnataka under Congresss watch.

“But see how silent they are now! What is the use of this fake devotion of Shivaji Maharaj? it asked.

The Shiv Sena charged former ally BJP with using names of iconic figures only for political interest.

BJP Claimed

The BJP had claimed blessings of Shivaji Maharaj in the previous elections in Maharashtra, but not a single brick was laid during its rule when it came to the construction of the Maratha kings memorial in the Arabian Sea, it said.

Referring to the August 5 ceremony at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, the Shiv Sena said Modi remembered Shivaji Maharaj that day from the bottom of his heart.

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“The prime minister bows before Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. But his supporters in Karnataka removed Shivaji Maharajs statue during the night. What to make out of this? it asked.

The ceremony of Ram Temple

“A ceremony was held in Ayodhya to take Lord Ram in the temple from a tent. But a Ravana-style ceremony of removing Shivaji Maharajs statue was held in Karnataka, the Marathi daily alleged.

Without taking any name, the Shiv Sena said the BJP inducted Shivaji Maharaj’s descendant into its fold last year and tom tommed about it for political gains. How come the NDA constituent is keeping quiet now when the warrior king has been “insulted”, it added.

Notably, Rajya Sabha member Udayanraje Bhosale, who is a descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, joined the BJP last year after quitting the NCP.

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