Lambasting the decision of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to remove the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji’s teacher Dadoji Konddev, Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray on Tuesday accused the ruling Congress-NCP coalition of sowing seeds of casteism.

“I am of the view that there should be no social tensions in the state due to this incident. We have to live together as Marathi instead of Marathas or Brahmins. But, I don’t think the state’s ruling class has the same wish,” Mr. Thackeray wrote in today’s editorial of his mouthpiece Saamna.

The Sena patriarch said those who removed the statue would accuse the opposition of creating divisiveness in the society but “they should first look within,” he added.

Referring to the removal of the statue at midnight, Mr. Thackeray said acts of sin are committed in the darkness.

“Those who removed the statue say Shivaji’s teacher could not be a brahmin and “dada-aaba” (referring to Ajit Pawar and R. R. Patil) support such acts,” he said and dared Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to arrest those who removed Dadoji’s statue from Lal Mahal in Pune.

“He should clarify if the incident of removing the statue in the dead of the night had his support,” Mr. Thackeray said.

“Are these politicians more well versed in history than historians who have done research on Shivaji’s life. How can they insult Maharashtra’s history in such a manner,” he asked.