Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari could have avoided the "secular" jibe which the latter took at Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in a scathing letter. Shah was speaking in an exclusive interview to News18.
Amit Shah said he read the letter and added, "Passing reference unhone diya hai, magar mujhe bhi lagta hai ki shabdon ka chayan unhone taala hota to achcha rahta (he has made a passing reference, but I also believe that he (Governor) could have avoided the selection of those particular words."
In a curt letter on Monday, Koshyari had questioned Uddhav regarding the reopening of temples in the state. He also mocked Uddhav and asked if he had "suddenly turned secular". The Governor wrote, "I wonder if you are receiving any divine premonition to keep postponing the reopening of the places of worships time and again or have you suddenly turned 'secular' yourself, the term you hated?"
"It is ironic that while on one hand, the State government has permitted the opening of bars, restaurants and beaches, on the other hand, our Gods and Goddesses have been condemned to stay in the lockdown," he added.
Besides, Koshyari's letter invited a biting response from the Chief Minister. Responding to the letter, Uddhav said he does not need a “certificate” on Hindutva from the Governor. "As imposing lockdown all of a sudden was not right, revoking it completely at once will also be not a good thing. And yes, I am someone who follows Hindutva, my Hindutva doesn't need verification from you," Uddhav said. "My Hindutva does not permit me to welcome home a person who called my Maharashtra or Mumbai Pakistan occupied Kashmir," he added.
NCP leader Sharad Pawar also slammed Koshyari for "intemperate language" against Uddhav. "I am shocked and surprised to know that the letter of the Governor was released to the media and also the kind of language used in the letter which does not behove well for a person who holds a constitutional position," Pawar wrote in a letter to PM Modi.
"I am sure you (PM Modi) too would have noticed the intemperate language that has been used. In the very Preamble of our Constitution the word ' Secular' is added that equates and shields all religions and hence the Chair of the Chief Minister must uphold such tenets of the Constitution. Unfortunately Hon. Governor's letter to the Chief Minister invokes the connotation as if written to the leader of a political party," Pawar added.