Nagpur: The Youth Congress staged protests against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government alleging that it was trying to portray late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in a poor light in Maharashtra Board's History textbook for Class IX.
The demonstrators also demanded resignation of education minister Vinod Tawde.
The agitation led by youth congress president Bunty Shelke on Friday demanded that the concerned chapter in the book be revised or removed as it was defamatory in nature.
Shelke said that the BJP government is trying to change the history of the country by resorting to such tactics.
He said instead of highlighting the achievements of Rajiv Gandhi like introduction of voting rights at the age 18, giving autonomy to Panchayati Raj institutions, Information Technology revolution the chapter speaks of the failed policy regarding Sri Lanka and corruption in purchase of defence equipment during his tenure.
Similarly, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should own moral responsibility and apologise in this matter, he said.
Speaking on this issue, Satish Chafle, an expert member of Board of Studies department of History Maharashtra State said the reference of Bofors purchase related to late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi mentioned in the book has been blown out of proportion by some congress leaders seeking publicity.
"I feel these leaders have not fully read the concerned chapter. The text mentions all the achievements of the late PM Rajiv Gandhi, like his strengthening of the Indian economy, Science & Technology and his efforts to solve Tamil problem in Sri Lanka.
"Similarly, Rajiv Gandhi's contribution in initiating super computer in 1988, establishment of VSNL and National Education Policy are also mentioned in the book. However, no one has bothered to look into these achievements mentioned in the text book. I condemn such protests which are nothing but a publicity stunt," said Chafle.
"There is nothing controversial in the text book and only his (Rajiv Gandhi's) achievements have been mentioned? I personally feel that Rajiv Gandhi did not belong to any particular party, but should be seen as a former PM who belonged to the nation," added Chafle.