Shivaji Maharaj belongs to all: Shiv Sena in swipe at BJP

Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Sunday took a swipe at one-time ally BJP and said Chhatrapati Shivaji was not “confined to any caste or party” but belongs to all 11 crore Maharashtrians.

The BJP had mounted a campaign seen by political observers as an effort to appropriate the legacy of the legendary warrior-king in a bid to upstage the Sena.

Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut, writing in his weekly ‘Rokhthok’ column in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, said, “Shivaji Maharaj is not confined to a caste or a party. He belongs to all 11 crore people of Maharashtra.”

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Taking a dig at the BJP’s campaign centring around the founder of the Maratha Empire, Raut wrote, “The BJP has been campaigning that it is the only party blessed by Shivaji Maharaj. Despite that, BJP candidate Udayanraje Bhosale, lost the Satara Lok Sabha bypoll.”

Udayanraje Bhosale, a direct descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji, quit the NCP and joined the BJP, but was trounced by the Sharad Pawar-led party’s Shriniwas Patil in the Lok Sabha bypoll held along with the October 21 Assembly election. It was the defeat of a person and not a legacy, the Sena article asserted.

“Shivaji Maharaj taught us that Maharashtra does not tolerate arrogance and hypocrisy. Whenever people take oath in the name of Shivaji Maharaj but do not keep promises, and start thinking of themselves as rulers of the state, then it is a sign of their downfall,” Raut said.