The BJP on Monday mentioned NCP president Sharad Pawar had as soon as once more displayed his deep caste prejudices by questioning Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for nominating Sambhaji Chhatrapati as a Rajya Sabha MP.
“Why has Pawar failed to see Fadnavis’ great social engineering. The decision to nominate Chhatrapati, who represents the royal Maratha clan, along with Dr Vikas Mahatme, representing the ‘dhangar’ shepherd community, to the Rajya Sabha shows our effort to accommodate all castes and classes,” argued a number of BJP leaders and Cabinet ministers.
Almost 24 hours after Pawar’s remarks at a operate in Kolhapur, BJP leaders, chopping throughout caste and sophistication, questioned what made Pawar to rake up caste and sophistication to assault Fadnavis.
Senior BJP chief Madhu Chavan mentioned, “Whenever the NCP loses political floor, Pawar rakes up the caste issue to divide folks. His determination to ridicule Fadnavis for nominating Chhatrapati has uncovered his caste bias. In 1993-94, he used to ridicule the BJP saying ‘it is a Joshi-Mahajan government’. In 1995, the Shiv Sena and the BJP voted the then ruling Congress out of energy and Manohar Joshi turned the chief minister.”
The Shetkari Sangathana too objected to Pawar’s remarks. “The NCP president had raked up the caste factor, riling our leader Raju Shetty, who belongs to the Jain community, when he had given a tough fight to the NCP in the Lok Sabha elections,” it mentioned.
At a e-book launch operate in Kolhapur, Pawar chided the BJP for nominating Chhatrapati as Rajya Sabha member. Referring to historical past, Pawar mentioned, “In the past, Chhatrapati (the royal title used by the ruling Maratha king) used to appoint Peshwas equivalent to the prime minister in the Maratha empire. In turn, Peshwas would appoint Fadnavis (a ministerial post in the Peshwa period). However, the nomination of Sambhaji Chhatrapati has been done by Peshwa-Fadnanvis.”
In a pointy retort, Fadnavis mentioned, “Chhatrapati’s nomination was done by the President of India and the Prime Minister. I am only a ‘sevak’ (true servant of the people). And the decision to honour Chhatrapati was to express our reverence to the social reforms that continues in the royal family.”
“Honouring Chhatrapati is also to signal that we want to continue the legacy of reforms started by the royal family.”
A senior NCP functionary, nonetheless, advised The Indian Express, “Pawar’s remark was just a historical fact. It was not with any motive to trigger a caste debate or undermine anybody. Pawar believes in inclusive politics.”
A senior Congress chief took a dig at Pawar, “It is the Nehru-Gandhi family which could rise above caste-class politics. The NCP has always pursued Maratha politics. This was evident in their cabinet and party composition. The NCP always took pride in the tag of great Maratha leader bestowed on Pawar.”