BJP MP, MVA slam book comparing Modi with King Shivaji

The book titled "Aaj ke Shivaji: Narendra Modi" has been written by BJP's Jay Bhagwan Goyal. (Twitter Image/@JaiBhagwanGoyal)

A book published by BJP leader Jay Bhagwan Goyal comparing legendary Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj with Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sparked off a political furore in Maharashtra. The book is titled "Aaj ke Shivaji: Narendra Modi".

In Mumbai, the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi allies Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress slammed BJP for publishing the book. Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has not reacted publicly so far to the book and its contents. 

Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut lashed out at the BJP. "The book should be banned, withdrawn and BJP should distance itself form such a narrative," said Raut, the executive editor of Saamana, the Shiv Sena mouthpiece.

In a video statement circulated here, BJP's national media co-head Sanjay Mayukh clarified that the party has nothing to do with the book. "It is the personal viewpoint of the is not a party publication, we are not connected with any matter...the author felt that since it has hurt emotions,  he was withdrawing the book," he said.

The book was launched in New Delhi on Sunday. The writer, Goyal, was associated with Shiv Sena earlier but quit in 2008 in protest against its anti-North Indian stance. He had joined the BJP in 2014.

In his interaction with media,  Raut also questioned the stand of the descendants of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj over the issue - thus taking a snipe at former Lok Sabha MP Chhatrapati Udayanraje Bhosale (Satara) and Rajya Sabha MP Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati (Kolhapur). "They should quit the BJP over the book," Raut said.

"We respect Narendra Modi as the PM...but he cannot be compared with Shivaji Maharaj," he said. Sambhajiraje, a President-nominated MP,  urged BJP president and union home minister Amit Shah to ban the book. Udayanraje, who left the NCP to join BJP but lost the bye-elections, will speak to media in Pune on Tuesday.

"To protest against the repeated insult of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj by the BJP, a state wide protest will be launched against such cheap attempts by the BJP," said Maharshtra Pradesh Congress Commitee president and revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat.

Thorat added that Prime Minister "Narendra Modi cannot be compared to Shivaji Maharaj. Modi's divisive politics and communal policies like CAA and NRC, his autocratic nature of running the government stands no comparison with the secular approach through which Swarajya was established by the Chhatrapati Maharaj," added Thorat.

The BJP should morally not even take the name of Shivaji Maharaj after large scale corruption in the Shivaji Memorial project by its government, he said.

NCP state president and water resources minister Jayant Patil said, “Tall and vast as the Sahyadri mountain ranges, my King cannot be compared with anybody. Keep this in mind, or else you have to face Maharashtra”.


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