Modi took Shivaji’s temple cue: Shah

Home Minister says BJP-Sena will win all 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra

NEW DELHI: Union home minister Amit Shah announced that the BJP will contest the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra with the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena. Together we should win all 48 seats in Maharashtra, he said on Sunday.

"The BJP and Shiv Sena (led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde) will be contesting the (Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha) elections in 2024 together,” Shah said addressing a Vijay Sankalp Rally in the historic Kolhapur town.

Earlier, in Pune, he hailed Chhatrapati Shivaji for rebuilding temples destroyed during the rule of Mughals and other foreign invaders. He said the restoration work that continued after the Maratha warrior king is being taken forward by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said Shivaji’s life was all about revolting against atrocities and the fight for ‘swaraj’ (self-rule) started by him continues still today.

Shah was speaking after inaugurating the first phase of ‘Shivsrushti’, a theme park based on the life of Shivaji Maharaj at Narhe-Ambegaon in Pune on the occasion of the birth anniversary of the founder of the Maratha empire.

“Last week, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant redeveloped the Saptakoteshwar temple, that was reconstructed by Shivaji. Similarly, the temples in south India were also redeveloped by the Maratha warrior king. Shivaji Maharaj constructed grand gates in front of the temples and tried to restore these structures,” Shah said.

“After Shivaji, this tradition of restoring of temples was continued by Bajirao Peshva, Nanasaheb Peshve, Madhavrao Peshve and lastly Punyashlok Ahilyadevi. Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking that work ahead as Ram Mandir is being built, the Kashi Vishwanath corridor was also constructed and Somnath temple is being decorated with gold. The BJP government and PM Modi are redeveloping several temples,” he said.

“In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, we got 42 out of the 48 seats (in Maharashtra), but that is not enough, in 2024, we want all the 48 out of 48 seats,” he added.

Shah also slammed Thackeray saying, "Hinduhriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray's Shiv Sena was surrendered at the feet of Sharad Pawar. (Thackeray) contested Assembly elections with us with the largest cut-outs being that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But after the results were out, he (Thackeray) surrendered at the feet of Pawar."

Shah said that the last Maharashtra assembly election was contested under the leadership of then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. "PM Modi and I had openly said this during our rallies. Despite this, (Thackeray) joined hands with the Opposition," he added.

In his speech, Shah also launched a scathing attack on the Congress-led UPA government headed by Dr Manmohan Singh from 2004-14.

"When Atal Bihari Vajpayee left, India’s economy stood at No. 11. When economist-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh left in 2014 after running the government for 10 years, India was still at the No 11 position. But after Modi ji took over things changed and today India is at No. 5 position,” Shah said.

Earlier, Shah worshipped at the Shri Mahalakshmi temple in Kolhapur and lay wreaths at the statues of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Shahu Ji Maharaj in Kolhapur. In Pune he inaugurated the first phase of the theme park Shiv Srishti created on the life of Shivaji Maharaj in Pune. The acts are seen as BJP's efforts to claim the legacy of the legendary Maratha king ahead of all important upcoming municipal elections in the state.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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