MUMBAI: The controversy over the recently released book “Aaj Ke Shivaji Narendra Modi” is refusing to die down with Sambhaji Raje, a descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji, joining the chorus of voices demanding a ban on it.
Sambhaji Raje, who is a BJP Rajya Sabha member, said, “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is our revered king. Comparing him with contemporary politicians is not acceptable to us Shiv bhakts. The party that has published this book should not take our sentiments for granted. I demand that the party president withdraw this book.”
Earlier, Sanjay Raut, the editor of Saamana and Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha member, said people are speaking against the BJP and asked whether the comparison with Narendra Modi was acceptable to the descendants of Shivaji Maharaj.
Maharashtra Congress president and revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat had also demanded that the book be withdrawn, adding that his party would protest against the BJP across the state on Tuesday.
"BJP has insulted the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. There is no one who can be compared with the Shivaji Maharaj. Shivaji Maharaj was for every caste and religion and he protected them. Narendra Modi is the person who divides society on every possible line and agenda,” Thorat said.
He said that they would not allow the sale of the book in Maharashtra. “We have asked the chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to ban this book,” Thorat said.
Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi minister Chhagan Bhujbal said Shivaji was a great king. “By comparing Chhatrapati Shivaji with Narendra Modi, the BJP has exposed itself. This is nothing but madness. Shivaji was not a small king who could be compared with anyone. He was the king for everyone,” Bhujbal said.
Rohit Pawar, the grandnephew of Sharad Pawar, also jumped into the controversy and demanded that the book be banned. “Why Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj? BJP should not demean the Bahujan idols and icons by comparing them with anyone. I strongly condemn it,” Pawar said.
BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar, however, said Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi ministers are blowing the issue out of proportion. “We and everyone know that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj cannot be compared with anyone. People should read the book and then form their opinion,” Mungantiwar said.