Mumbai

Congress hits back, dubs Udayanraje ‘Ajanata Raja’

Crying foul: Congress workers take out a march in Thane on Tuesday against a controversial booklet that was released by the BJP during a meet in New Delhi.

Crying foul: Congress workers take out a march in Thane on Tuesday against a controversial booklet that was released by the BJP during a meet in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: Vibhav Birwatkar

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‘People of State do not take criticism by him seriously’

Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant on Tuesday took a dig at Chhatrapati Shivaji’s descendant and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Udayanraje Bhosale by calling him Ajanata Raja. Mr. Sawant said the people of the State do not take criticism by him seriously.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Bhosale, a former Lok Sabha MP of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) from Satara, had attacked the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance for criticising the BJP over a booklet comparing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the 17th century Maratha warrior king.

Mr. Bhosale made the comments at the behest of the BJP, Mr. Sawant said, adding that it was not yet clear why he joined the saffron party, which allegedly committed a “scam” in the Shivaji memorial work and “insulted” the warrior king by comparing him to Mr. Modi.

“Mr. Bhosale is an Ajanata Raja [a king who does not know anything about his subjects]... Mavalas [foot soldiers of Shivaji] like us have proceeded on the path shown by Shivaji Maharaj in a true sense,” Mr. Sawant said.

King Shivaji is hailed as Janata Raja, a king who knows everything about his subjects and understands them. “The descendant of Shivaji Maharaj, however, is following Modi’s path. Hence, the people of Maharashtra will not pay heed to him and not take the criticism by him seriously,” he said.

Condemning the booklet, Mr. Bhosale had said, “I never gave any remuneration to the author to write that booklet. So those who are seeking my stand or clarification, I will show them their place,” he said.

When asked whether he was going to speak to the BJP high command and seek action against the author, Mr. Bhosale said he would do so. “But I have come to know that the author has withdrawn the book...Forget about the book, even the author can be withdrawn,” he said.

Taking a swipe at the ruling alliance, he said, “These people are only after power. They think about petty issues like municipal elections. They cannot stay together for a long. Once their motives are achieved, they will go on their own ways.”

Mr. Bhosale said it was sad that people in the country are fighting for meals even 70 years after Independence. “What have you achieved in a democracy? Had there been a rajeshahi, I tell you no one would have lived without food,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 12:14:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/congress-hits-back-dubs-udayanraje-ajanata-raja/article30572355.ece

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