New Delhi: Book politics flared up in Maharashtra once again with the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress working up much indignation that an author, a BJP member, would liken Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Maratha king Shivaji.
The Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said it was “insulting” that Narendra Modi would be compared to a revered figure like Shivaji.
As the title would indicate, the book flatters the PM -- Aaj ke Shivaji: Narendra Modi. It was written by Jay Bhagwan Goyal, a once upon a time busybody in the Shiv Sena’s operations in north India. He quit the party in protest against the treatment of north Indians and Maharashtra, started a short-lived party called the Rashtrawadi Shiv Sena and ultimately joined the BJP.
In the face of outrage from the Shiv Sena and its allies in government, the NCP and the Congress, the saffron party distanced itself from the book, saying it had nothing do with its publication and that it only represented the author's personal opinion.
Goyal too offered to withdraw parts of the book found objectionable by the Maharashtra parties. He told PTI, “I only wanted to tell readers as to how Modi like Shivaji has worked to take everyone along and been successful in doing what many considered impossible. If it has hurt the sentiments of some people, I am willing to revise those parts of the book."
Seizing the opportunity to make the BJP look uppity in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena worked up indignation. "A BJP leader has written the book titled Aaj Ke Shivaji: Narendra Modi', which we find insulting. We respect Prime Minister Modi. But comparing Shivaji Maharaj with anyone is not acceptable," he said.
He demanded a ban on the book, and then nudged the warrior king's descendants, who are in the BJP, to react to the issue.
“Chhatrapati Shivaji's descendants should clarify if they like Modi being compared to him. They should quit the BJP over the book," Raut said.
His unnamed targets are Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje, a Rajya Sabha member, and Udayanraje Bhosale, a former MP from Satara who recently joined the BJP after quitting the NCP.
Another BJP-affiliated Shivaji descendant, Shivendraraje Bhosale, an MLA from Satara and cousin of Udayanraje Bhosale, said the book was the work of some "bootlickers".
He said, “I request my party leaders to put a check on such bootlickers who, for their personal gain, are ready to stoop to any level. I am totally against such comparison between Shivaji Maharaj and Prime Minister Narendra Modi."...