MUMBAI: NCP chief Sharad Pawar gave a new twist to the ongoing controversy over Chhatrapati Shivaji on Thursday, saying not Ramdas Swami, but his mother Jijabai was his actual Guru. The RSS and right-wing organisations have always held Ramdas Swami as the Guru of Shivaji.
Pawar said history is opposed to fiction. “I have authentic historical sources which nowhere mention Ramdas Swami as the Chhatrapati’s Guru. His Guru was his mother who taught him,” Pawar said.
The claim, close on the heels of Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut asking BJP leader Udayan Raje Bhosale, a descendant of Shivaji, to prove whether he was the real heir of Shivaji.
Sanjay Nirupam, ex Mumbai Congress president expressed displeasure over Raut’s statement, while NCP leader and minister Vilas Aghadi defended Raut, saying there was a difference between an original and an adopted heir of Shivaji. Udayanraje, he claimed, was adopted.
Manohar Bhide, a right-wing leader condemned Raut even as his supporters burnt effigies of the latter in various parts of Maharashtra.
Raut also drew condemnation from Chandrakant Patil who said, “We protest Raut’s statement and demand his public apology,” adding, “Power seems to have gone to his head.”
BJP leader Narayan Rane also was quick on the attack telling Raut that his “tongue will not remain intact” if he continued to speak against the family of Shivaji.
Rane said it is the responsibility of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who is also the Shiv Sena president, to rein in Raut but he is quiet on the issue.