Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
File Photo

Mumbai: The Congress has attacked the BJP on the Shiv Jayanti issue saying that the disciples of MS Golwalkar (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s second Sarsanghchalak) who grow a beard and compare themselves with Chhatrapati Shivaji will not know the Rajdharma.

They will also not know that the Chhatrapati Shivaji was the king of farmers who strived for their welfare and progress, said Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee spokesman Sachin Sawant. He has also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi without directly naming him in the attack.

Sawant in his tweets has targeted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Modi over its handling of the ongoing farmers’ protest demanding repeal of three Central farm laws.

"Shivaji was the king of the ryots (farmers). He is our role model and in our hearts. The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is taking the same stand which Chhatrapati Shivaji would have taken when the farmers were in crisis. This was Chhatrapati Shivaji’s Rajdharma. Golwalkar’s disciples, who grow beard and compare themselves with Shivaji will not know it,’’ Sawant said.

In another tweet, Sawant said, "BJP which sells the forts and indulges in corruption in the construction of Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial should not teach us about Shiv Jayanti. They should celebrate Modi’s birthday. Let’s not forget that there is a Covid 19 crisis."

Sawant’s scathing criticism came after the BJP lashed out at the Shiv Sena-led MVA government allowing only 100 people to gather during the Shiv Jayanti (birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji) on February 19 because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This is the second time Congress has targeted the BJP for comparing Modi with Chhatrapati Shivaji. Last year, Congress had claimed that comparing Modi with Chhatrapati Shivaji was a height of sycophancy.

The state government in its guidelines had earlier allowed gathering of 10 people during the Shiv Jayanti celebrations. However, in the wake of criticism from various quarters, the Home Department came out with fresh do’s and don’ts permitting the gathering of 100 people for celebrations. This had further promoted BJP to fire a fresh salvo against the MVA government.

BJP legislator Ashish Shelar took a swipe at the state government on the curbs imposed on the Shiv Jayant celebrations. "There is an invitation from the state government to visit the Byculla zoo on February 16 to see the penguins. But be careful if you gather to celebrate Shiv Jayanti. May sound strange but follow the rules," he taunted.

State BJP chief spokesman Keshav Upadhye said the government has lifted restrictions on the functioning of permit rooms, liquor shops and the commencement of night life but has imposed curbs on organisation of rallies and cultural programmes to celebrate the Shiv Jayanti.

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