The Shiv Sena on Monday called for a ban on a Bharatiya Janata Party leader’s book that has compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Maratha ruler Shivaji, describing it as “insulting”, PTI reported. The book, titled Aaj Ke Shivaji: Narendra Modi was released at an event organised by BJP’s Delhi unit.
“The party should clarify whether it considers Prime Minister Narendra Modi as great as Shivaji Maharaj,” said senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut. “We respect Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi. But comparing Shivaji Maharaj with anyone is not acceptable.”
Raut also sought a response from the descendants of the Maratha ruler, including Bharatiya Janata Party MP Sambhaji Raje, and Udayanraje Bhosale. “They should quit the BJP over the book,” the Sena leader added. In response, Raje also said the comparison was not acceptable. “The party that has published this book should not take our sentiments for granted,” he aded. “I demand the party president [Amit Shah] withdraw this book.”
The Sena claimed party president and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had approved its stand. “This book should be banned and the BJP should officially distance itself from such a book and the narrative it is pushing forward,” Raut said.
The book was written by BJP leader Jay Bhagwan Goyal, who was a member of the Shiv Sena till a few years ago. “This man [Goyal] has compared Narendra Modi to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” The Hindu quoted Raut as saying. “Is it acceptable to Maharashtra leaders of the BJP?”
Two other ruling parties in the state also voiced their displeasure. Congress leader and former chief minister Ashok Chavan said the comparison was an insult to Shivaji’s ideology, which he said was “exactly opposite to that of the BJP”. The party’s spokesperson, Atul Londhe, filed a complaint against Goyal and the book’s publisher at Nagpur’s Nandanvan police station.
Nationalist Congress Party leader Dhananjay Munde said the book had hurt the feelings of people in the state. He added that those who comparing themselves to Shivaji would not be forgiven.