Opposition parties in Maharashtra have demanded the resignation of Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari after he called 17th century Maratha ruler Shivaji an icon of “olden times,” reported PTI on Sunday.

The Opposition has also demanded that the Bharatiya Janata Party sack its spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi for claiming that Shivaji had apologised to Mughal emperor Aurangzeb five times.

“Governor Koshyari and BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi who insulted Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj should publicly apologise to the people of Maharashtra otherwise we will not let them walk on the streets,” Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole said.

Koshyari made the statement at an event at Dr Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad on Saturday.

“Earlier, when you would be asked who is your icon – Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, and Mahatma Gandhi used to be the answer. Whereas in Maharashtra, you need not look elsewhere since there are so many icons here,” he said. “While Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is of olden times, there are icons such as Ambedkar and Nitin Gadkari in modern times.”

The Shiv Sena (Udhhav Balasaheb Thackeray) described the governor’s remarks as insulting, reported The Indian Express.

“Such insults to our warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj are totally unacceptable,” Shiv Sena (Udhhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Anil Desai said. “It also reflects mindset of those who are making such remarks.”

Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar also said that Koshyari should step down as the governor and Prime Minister Narendra Modi take cognisance of his remarks, reported PTI.

“The BJP used the name of Shivaji Maharaj to get votes, but it is now silent on all negative statements made against him,” Nationalist Congress Party spokesperson Clyde Crasto tweeted. “They are silent on his history being distorted in movies.”

He demanded that Trivedi should be sacked from the party immediately or it will mean that the BJP supports the “insulting statement made by him and all the demeaning statements made by others”.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Sunday that Opposition has misconstrued the statements made by Koshyari and Trivedi, reported PTI.

“One thing is clear that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj will remain a hero and idol of Maharashtra and our country till the sun and the moon exist,” the BJP leader said. “Even Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had no doubts about this in his mind. Thus, there are various meanings derived from the remarks made by the governor.”

He added: “I have clearly heard the statement given by Sudhanshu Trivedi. He never made any statement that Shivaji Maharaj has apologised.”