Book comparing Modi-Shivaji height of hypocrisy, sycophancy: Shiv Sena
Advising BJP leaders to read some books on Chhatrapati Shivaji, an editorial in Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said even Prime Minister Modi would not have liked being compared to the 17th century Maratha warrior king.
The Marathi publication, however, said the "wave of anger" in Maharashtra was against the book, titled "Aaj Ke Shivaji: Narendra Modi", and not the prime minister. The book, written by BJP leader Jay Bhagwan Goyal, has created a political storm in Maharashtra, where Shivaji Maharaj is a highly revered figure.
The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, part of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government, have criticised the book for comparing Modi with Shivaji Maharaj, calling it "insulting".
"The wave of anger is not against Modiji but against the book, which in itself is height of hypocrisy and sycophancy," the Shiv Sena said in its mouthpiece. Even Prime Minister Modi would not have liked this kind of comparison, it said.
"He is a popular prime minister of the country and known as a decisive leader. Even after this if you ask whether Modi is the king of India, the answer is no," the Marathi daily said.
"Before the Lok Sabha polls, Modi was described as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Now he is called Shivaji Maharaj of this era. Such sycophancy not only results in insult of the country, God and religion, but puts Modi also into an awkward situation," the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said.
Suggesting that Delhi-based BJP leaders read some books on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the Sena said they need to understand the history of Maharashtra as 11 crore people of the state did not like such a comparison between Modi and the Maratha king. The BJP leaders from Maharashtra should openly condemn such a move, the Shiv Sena said.
"We appreciate that descendants of Shivaji Maharaj have expressed their disappointment over the book," it added.
BJP's Rajya Sabha member Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje, who is a descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, has demanded that the book be banned.
BJP MLA Shivendraraje Bhosale, who is also a descendant of the Maratha warrior king and is the cousin of former Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale, said it was unfortunate that some "bootlickers" were creating problem for the party's image.