The Indian Express | 1 day ago | 25-11-2022 | 10:50 pm
Bhagat Singh Koshyari was appointed the governor of Maharashtra in September 2019 and since then he has frequently courted controversies, a trait that is turning into a major headache for the BJP.The latest controversy Koshyari finds himself embroiled in has seen even the top BJP leadership in the state distance itself from the governor. Koshyari on November 19 said at a function at Dr BR Ambedkar Marathwada University at Aurangabad that 17th-Century warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji was an icon of the “olden days” and drew parallels with Ambedkar and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, whom he referred to as “icons of modern times”. This sparked a political firestorm, with Opposition parties such as the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Congress, and the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of the Shiv Sena calling for his removal.Aware that any attempt to bail out Koshyari might backfire for the party, BJP leaders refused to get dragged into defending him and hailed Shivaji’s life and legacy. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis — whose wife Amruta incidentally came out in the governor’s support on Friday — said after the controversy flared up, “As long as the sun and the moon are there, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj will live. If we have to talk in the present context, Shivaji Maharaj is our hero.”Many in the state BJP believe that the Centre should look into the governor’s conduct and worry that if he continues, Opposition parties will always have a stick to beat it with. It has left many in the party exasperated as the state is set to enter a crucial stretch of politicking beginning with the civic body elections and then the all-important Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in 2024.A senior BJP functionary said, “When a person holds a Constitutional post, it is best to avoid controversial remarks. Today, nobody doubts Koshyari’s intention. We are sure he holds Shivaji in the highest regard, or, his comment on Mumbai was not against Marathis. But where was the need to comment at all?”Koshyari and controversiesThis is not the first time Koshyari has found himself in the middle of a raging controversy.In July, he rubbed people the wrong way saying, “If Gujaratis and Rajasthanis had left Mumbai there would have been no money left.” Though he apologised for his comments later, the damage was done. Mumbai was the bone of contention during the creation of Maharashtra and Gujarat and to keep the city in Maharashtra, the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement was launched in the 1950s. Almost 105 people were martyred during the struggle.In March, Koshyari drew flak after commenting on the marriage of iconic social reformers Savtribai Phule and Jyotiba Phule. “Savitribai was married off when she was 10 years old. Her husband Jyotiba was 13 years age. Imagine what the boy and girl would have been doing after marriage. What would they have been thinking?”The month before, while trying to explain the significance of gurus in the lives of their disciples, Koshyari made another comment about Shivaji that infuriated people. He said that without philosopher-poet Samarth Ramdas no one would have known Shivaji. “Who would have known about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had there not been for his guru Samarth (Ramdas)?”Following the latest controversy, former BJP MP Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje, who is a descendant of Shivaji, said, “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is a legend. He is the guiding force and inspiration for past, present and future.”The BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Udayanraje Bhosale from the royal clan of Satara said he had written to PM Narendra Modi and President Droupadi Murmu, asking them to recall Koshiyari. Bhosale, who is the 13th direct descendant of Shivaji, has threatened to “take action” if action is not taken against Koshyari by November 28.
The BJP will never implement a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in Gujarat, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said on Saturday, dubbing the saffron party’s poll promise as “fake”.The reaction of the Arvind Kejriwal-led party came after the ruling BJP released its manifesto for the Gujarat polls, promising the implementation of a UCC in the state if it retains power.“The BJP has ruled Gujarat for 27 years. After remaining at the helm for more than two decades, it is still making promises,” the AAP’s co-incharge for Gujarat, Raghav Chadha, told reporters.“If it was indeed their intent, they would have implemented it much ago,” Chadha said, asking, “Why didn’t they implement it?” “It is a fake promise. The BJP will never implement it (UCC),” he added. On October 29, the Gujarat government announced that it would form a committee for the implementation of a UCC. Other BJP-ruled states, such as Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, have also promised to implement a UCC. Chadha said neither the BJP nor the Congress is talking about the real issues in the run-up to the Gujarat polls. The AAP is the only party that has come up with a “model for the economic uplift” of the people of Gujarat, he said.
Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday slammed the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying industrial projects coming to Maharashtra are being diverted to neighboring Gujarat as Assembly elections are being held there. He also called the BJP a “party of imports” and “chor bazaar (flea market)”.While addressing a farmers’ rally at Chikhli in Buldhana, Uddhav also slammed Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde for his “silence” over the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute, the alleged insult of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and the government’s inaction on farmers’ plight in the state.After stepping down as chief minister in June this year, this was Thackeray’s first rally outside Mumbai. Last month, Uddhav had addressed party workers at its annual Dussehra Rally at Shivaji Park.“The BJP has lost its ideology and is only importing people from other parties. It has become a party of imports. If you enlist, you will find how many people they have taken into their party from other parties. Nothing is left with them so they are stealing people from other parties. Is it a political party or ‘chor bazaar’,” Uddhav said.Hitting out at Modi, Uddhav said the PM would not hesitate to break Maharashtra and hand over villages to Karnataka with polls in Karnataka next year. “The projects coming to Maharashtra were diverted to Gujarat owing to the elections there. Now Karnataka chief minister is staking claims over Akkalkot and Solapur of Maharashtra. Karnataka is going to polls next year, I am afraid that as the PM sent the projects to Gujarat, he won’t hesitate before breaking Maharashtra into pieces,” Thackeray said.Taking a dig at Shinde, Uddhav said, “This CM might even say that what is the harm in handing over 40 villages to Karnataka …. PM has promised to get Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and give us 100 villages…..”Further attacking Shinde who along with his MPs and MLAs went to Guwahati, Uddhav said, “Today all these 40 people have gone to Guwahati to take blessings. A weekago he (Shinde) had gone to visit an astrologer to know his future. He doesn’t know his own future. And he is going to decide our future? In fact, his future is being decided by people sitting in Delhi. He has to follow their orders,” Thackeray said.Claiming that nearly 1,000 farmers had committed suicide in Maharashtra since the formation of the current dispensation in the state in July this year, Uddhav said if he would have been the CM, he would not have allowed such suicides to take place.In response to Uddhav’s attack, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “The Maha Vikas Aghadi government, which held the reins of Maharashtra between November 2019 and June 2022, should explain where was its concern for farmers and the agriculture sector. Why did it fail to address the agrarian crisis?”
Aam Aadmi Party national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Saturday said that he is giving money to the people and “not taking it to Swiss bank”, replying to BJP’s accusations of him “squandering money”.“Ye mujhko BJP wale khoob galiyan dete hain…..Kejriwal sara paisa luta dega. Kejriwal janta ko hi toh paisa de raha hai (These BJP people curse me a lot…..Kejriwal will squander all the money. Kejriwal is only giving money to the public). Kejriwal is not taking the money to the Swiss bank, or building mansions or buying properties,” the AAP chief said in Bhavnagar.Kejriwal also repeated guarantees of free electricity, allowance for women, employment, unemployment allowance and raised the issue of paper leaks. The Delhi chief minister also claimed to reinstate the Old Pension Scheme by January 31 (2023), if they are voted to power. Asking just five years from his voters in the roadshow, the supremo said, “If I don’t work, then oust me.”AAP candidates from Bhavnagar West, Bhavnagar East, Bhavnagar Rural, Palitana, Gadhada, Botad and Talaja of Bhavnagar and Botad districts were present in the roadshow as well. All of these constituencies are the stronghold of the BJP, except for Talaja which is Congress dominated seat.Kejriwal also said that God will cause a miracle by sweeping the broom, the Aam Aadmi Party’s election symbol, and catapult his party to power in Gujarat.Raju Solanki, who is the AAP candidate from Bhavnagar West, of the two term MLA and Gujarat Education Minister Jitu Vaghani, who has been re-fielded from the same seat.When the “pot of sin is full, the Almighty sweeps his broom”, the AAP national convener claimed.“In all of Gujarat, a heavy storm of change is brewing. The entire state has stood up. Some miracle is going to happen this time. It is said in Bhagavadgita that whenever the pot of sin is full, the Almighty sweeps his broom. The Almighty has started sweeping his broom,” Kejriwal said.(With PTI)
Arvind Kejriwal asked the people assembled to give him a chance. (File)Bhavnagar: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said God will cause a miracle by sweeping the broom, the Aam Aadmi Party's election symbol, and catapult his party to power in Gujarat, where the two-phase Assembly polls are scheduled for December 1 and 5.When the "pot of sin is full, the Almighty sweeps his broom", the Aam Aadmi Party national convener claimed while addressing a roadshow in Bhavnagar in the poll-bound state."In all of Gujarat, a heavy storm of change is brewing. The entire state has stood up. Some miracle is going to happen this time. It is said in Bhagavadgita that whenever the pot of sin is full, the Almighty sweeps his broom. The Almighty has started sweeping his broom," Mr Kejriwal said.He said people getting zero electricity bills for the usage of 24-hour electricity, as part of AAP's poll promise of not charging for 300 units of power, would be the "magic" people will experience once his party forms government in Gujarat."This is magic. This 24-hour, zero-electricity bill is magic. And only Kejriwal knows how to perform that magic. No other party can perform this magic. I have been specially blessed by the Almighty and this can only be done by Mr Kejriwal and no other leader," he said.He said the Bharatiya Janata Party had done nothing for the state in its 27-year rule and voting for the opposition Congress was futile as its legislators would defect to the ruling party post-elections.Mr Kejriwal asked the people assembled at the roadshow to give him a chance to see what can be done in five years, adding they could "throw us out" if promises are not fulfilled."Today, people are suffering due to inflation. They are unable to survive. I will give you relief from inflation. After the formation of our government, I will pay your electricity bill from March 1," he said.Mr Kejriwal said women above the age of 18 will get Rs 1,000 per month as an honorarium, while youth will get Rs 3,000 as an unemployment allowance till they land a job."If you want to keep your children unemployed, you want to be abused, then you vote for them (BJP). This has been going on for 27 years. But if you want employment for your children, then vote for AAP," he asserted.Slamming the ruling BJP, he said frequent exam paper leaks in major competitive exams meant there was the involvement of big leaders."All paper leaks since 2015 will be probed and these big leaders will go to jail. We will completely eliminate the atmosphere of fear in the business world. We will create an environment to do business with courage and peace. We will give every businessman the respect they deserve," he said.Mr Kejriwal said an AAP government in the state would be free from corruption, and Value Added Tax and other pending refunds will be paid within six months (of coming to power).PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe Goods and Services Tax will be simplified, he added.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayRow Over Karnataka Chief Minister's Border Remark Intensifies
Gopal Italia said a child was injured as stones were thrown at an AAP meeting in Gujarat todaySurat: The chief of the Gujarat unit of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today blamed ruling BJP for an alleged incident of stone throwing during an AAP election meeting in Surat.Gopal Italia, AAP's Gujarat convenor, alleged that a child was injured when stones were thrown while an AAP meeting was in progress in the Katargam constituency.Taking to Twitter, Mr Italia wrote: "Due to the fear of losing the Katargam Assembly elections, BJP goons pelted stones at my public meeting today, in which a small child got injured."He said if the BJP had done at least some work during its 27-year reign in the state, then they would not have had to throw stones at an AAP meeting.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comIn an obvious reference to the AAP electoral symbol, the tweet further said: "The public will answer BJP's stone pelters with a broom."कतारगाम विधानसभा चुनाव हारने के डर से बौखला गए भाजपाई गुंडों ने आज मेरी जनसभा पर पथ्थरबाजी करी जिसमे एक छोटे बच्चा पथ्थर लगने से घायल हुआ है।27 साल मे कुछ काम कर लिया होता तो आज आम आदमी पार्टी की जनसभा मे पथ्थर फेंकने नही पड़ते।भाजपाई पथ्थरबाजो को जनता झाड़ू से जवाब देगी। pic.twitter.com/2hCCA0TKYV— Gopal Italia (@Gopal_Italia) November 26, 2022For the last several months, BJP and AAP have been sparring over a lion's share of votes in a state that has had a BJP government for close to three decades.Elections are scheduled to be held in Gujarat on December 1 and 5. Votes will be counted on December 8.Featured Video Of The DayWatch Arvind Kejriwal's Townhall: "Give Me CBI For One Day..."