'Udayanraje has no option but to surrender before the BJP': NCP accuses former MP amid book row

The NCP on Tuesday lashed out at BJP leader and former MP Udayanraje Bhosale for not speaking against the ruling party at the Centre amid a controversy over a book comparing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Maratha warrior king Shivaji.

Bhosale, a direct descendant of the legendary monarch, was an NCP Lok Sabha MP before crossing over to the BJP last year and losing his Satara seat in the subsequent bypoll.

A book written by BJP functionary Jay Bhagwan Goyal, titled "Aaj Ke Shivaji: Narendra Modi", has been criticised by opposition parties as a sycophantic effort that demeans the legend of one of history's most formidable empire builders.

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Earlier in the day, Bhosale condemned the book and said nobody in the world can be compared to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

He also said that only the Maratha warrior king can be called 'Janata Raja' (enlightened king), taking a swipe at NCP supremo Sharad Pawar who is sometimes given this epithet by his supporters.

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Hitting out, NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said, "Udayanraje has no option but to surrender before the BJP after joining that party. He did not condemn Goyal nor did he speak against the BJP."

Referring to Bhosale's 'Janata Raja' remark, Malik claimed the phrase was never used for Pawar.

Malik also said Union minister Prakash Javadekar's statement that Goyal had apologised and withdrawn the book was not enough. The author himself should make such a statement, he demanded.