NCP chief Sharad Pawar
NCP chief Sharad Pawar
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Former Union Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar targeted Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari once more on Monday, after Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed disappointment over the language used by Koshyari in his letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. ‘‘Anyone with self-respect would have stepped down instead of staying on in the post. Who are we to make any demand?’’ he asked.

Pawar, who was in Osmanabad district to review the damage cause by the floods and extended rains, told the media, a word to the wise is enough and it is now up to Koshyari to take a call on whether to stay on or resign as the state governor.

"After the Union Home Minister's remark expressing disappointment over language used in the letter, anybody with self-respect would have taken a call on whether to continue in the post or not," he added.

Koshyari had, in his letter to Thackeray last Monday on the subject of reopening of temples, asked “if the Shiv Sena president had 'suddenly turned secular'’’. His missive, laced with sarcasm, had led to a war of words with Thackeray, who had hit back saying e did not need a certificate from the governor on his Hindutva.

As reported by The Free Press Journal, Shah on Saturday had told a news channel that "Koshyari could have chosen his words better".

Pawar had dashed off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in support of Thackeray, saying he was shocked and surprised at the Governor's intemperate language. “I firmly believe that in a democracy, free exchange of views between the Hon. Governor and Hon. Chief Minister must take place. However, the tone and tenor used must always be in keeping with the stature of the constitutional post occupied by the individual,’’ his letter to the Modi said.

“I fully endorse the decision of the Hon. Chief Minister on this issue. I have not discussed this matter either with the Governor nor with the Hon. Chief Minister. However, I felt that I must share my pain with you and the public at the erosion of the standards of conduct by the high constitutional office of the Hon. Governor.’’

Asked about speculations that senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse may join the NCP, Pawar said Khadse had earlier been the leader of opposition and played a huge role in building the BJP in the state.

"He would criticise us and we would take note of it," said Pawar.

"One is bound to feel disturbed if his contributions and hard work are not taken note of. He may think why shouldn't he shift to a party which appreciates his work," he said.

Khadse has been repeatedly firing salvos at the BJP leadership, especially former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, for his being neglected in the party. He has been resentful ever since he was forced to resign as minister in the then BJP government in 2016, on allegations of corruption.

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