Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar on Sunday said Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari must consider quitting his post if he cannot understand the state's emotions and legendary warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
The NCP also demanded that the Bharatiya Janarat Party (BJP) sack its spokesman Sudhanshu Trivedi for "insulting" Shivaji Maharaj through his remarks.
Koshyari had, on Saturday, said Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was an icon of "olden days" even as he referred to Babasaheb Ambedkar and Union minister Nitin Gadkari while talking about "icons" in the state, drawing flak from NCP and Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction.
Koshyari made the remarks after conferring D.Litt degrees on Gadkari, a senior BJP leader, and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar at an event held in Aurangabad.
In a statement issued during the day, Ajit Pawar said, "It is time for Koshyari to reconsider his continuing as state governor. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was a great role model on how to use power for people's welfare and not self interest. These ideals have inspired Maharashtra and will continue to do so for time immemorial."
The Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take cognisance of Koshyari's remarks. Meanwhile, NCP spokesperson Clyde Crasto said, "The BJP used the name of Shivaji Maharaj to get votes, but it is now silent on all negative statements made against him. They are silent on his history being distorted in movies."
He also questioned the silence of the saffron party on Koshyari's statement that "demeaned" Shivaji Maharaj. "Now they are silent on Sudhanshu Trivedi's statement insulting our Maharaj. BJP must stop using his name to suit their needs as by doing this they are betraying our hero who we revere and worship," he said referring to Trivedi's remarks that the Maratha warrior king apologised to Aurangazeb five times.
"BJP must sack Trivedi immediately or it will mean that they support the insulting statement made by him and all the demeaning statements made by others," Crasto added.
(With PTI Inputs)