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Much ado around a governor in Maharashtra

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Much ado around a governor in Maharashtra
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Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari (file photo)



If you are tired of hearing about governors giving headaches to the governments of non-BJP ruled states, then here is a governor with a difference - his name is Bhagat Singh Koshiyari. He is the Centre's man in Maharashtra, where the BJP took over the government on the shoulders of the Shiv Sena rebels by overturning the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance.

The only problem with him is that he outshines the opposition in creating headaches for the state government. His controversial remarks about the Maratha emperor Shivaji got him in the spot first. With Shivaji's successors and Maratha organisations coming together against the statement, the BJP and the central government are unable to either disown or defend him. BJP MP, Shivaji's descendant Udayanraje Bhosale himself came out against Bhagat Singh Koshiyari risking whatever ot takes which only deepened the conunddrum.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari raised a hornest's nest twice by his statements about Shivaji on two separate occasions. The first statement was that Shivaji's guru was Samarth Ramdas. The second utterance was that Shivaji is a symbol of old times whereas the symbols of modern times are Dr. B.R Ambedkar and current Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.

With this, the alliance of Uddhav Thackeray faction of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress plus Maratha organizations sprung into action demanding that the governor be recalled. MLAs of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena faction also turned against Koshiyari.

The allegation raised against Koshiyari is that he tried to establish that Shivaji, who was not a Brahmin, was moulded by a Brahmin guru, and later also tried to downplay Shivaji's importance. Koshiyari's statements have also been criticized as part of a Brahminical strategy to establish that behind all non-Brahmin historical men there was a Brahminical force behind them.

Historians maintain that Samarth Ramdas never met Shivaji, even though he was a contemporary. Historical researchers Srimanth Kokate and Sanjay Sonavani say that other Shivaji had no connection with Samarth Ramdas has no connection other than Shivaji's donation to Ramdas' temple, as Shivaji did for several other temples.

NCP MP Supriya Sule said that in 2018, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court had also stated that there was no historical evidence that Ramdas and Shivaji had met. When the subject heated up, Koshiyari escaped saying that he had made the remark recollecting what he had read much earlier and he would examine facts again.

Koshiyari is not a person who switched from another party and bought the post of governor. One with strong RSS roots, he was a former Uttarakhand Chief Minister and BJP National Vice President. Apart from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Legislative Assemblies, he was a member of Legislative Council, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

He took charge as the Governor of Maharashtra on September 5, 2019. During Uddhav Thackeray's tenure, he behaved like a BJP leader who forgot the solemnity of his office. There was even a situation where NCP President and former Union Minister Sharad Pawar openly said that he has never seen such a bad governor in his political life. During that time, the Uddhav government retaliated against Koshiyari by putting a noose on his post of chancellor and not releasing government plane for private travel.

Koshiyari also made another controversial statement that Mumbai would have shrunk hadit not been for Rajasthanis and Gujaratis. Uddhav said that he maintained restraint only out of respect for the governor's chair. But Uddhav said one thing – that when the Governor of Maharashtra State was getting a taste of the culinary delights of Maharashtra, he would also come to get a taste of the Kohlapuri slippers.

Maharashtra opposition leader Ajit Pawar of NCP says that Koshiyari was not talking things that befitted the position of a governor. He recalled also that Koshiyari used to express his desire to return from Maharashtra and suspected that he was deliberately creating controversies to make the Centre recall him.

Bhosale said the Rashtrapati Bhavan in reply to the letter seeking the immediate recall of the Governor had said that the Home Ministry had been asked to investigate the controversial statements. There are reports that the BJP and the central government are trying to keep silent until the Gujarat assembly elections are over. It is also said that Koshiyari, who went to Delhi amid the controversies, had expressed his willingness to resign.

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TAGS:Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari Shivaji Remarks on Gujaratis and Rajaasthanis Uddhav Thackeray Udaynraje Bhosale 
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