Devotees pray outside Mahalaxmi temple.
Devotees pray outside Mahalaxmi temple.
BL Soni

The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) partners, Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress have renewed their attack against Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari after Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in an interview to a TV channel, opined that the latter should not have used such language in his letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and asked whether he has turned ‘secular’. This is for the first time since the war of words broke out between the governor and the CM that a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) minister made a statement expressing strong disappointment over the former’s language.

Governor, in a letter filled with satire and sarcasm on the issue of reopening temples, had questioned whether the Shiv Sena chief had turned ‘secular’. Thackeray shot back that he did not need a Hindutva certificate from anyone, and also alluded to the Kangana Ranaut controversy. Thereafter, former union minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said that the tone and tenor used must always be in keeping with the stature of the constitutional post occupied by the individual. Following this, in an interview, Shah said, “I have read the governor's letter. It would have been better if he had avoided a few words.”

Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Dr Ratnakar Mahajan took a jibe at Shah for shedding crocodile tears, as the home minister and governor, being Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) products, hold the same view, namely, defaming secularism, secular people and the secular fabric of the country. “All that the governor is doing is cornering the three-party alliance government in Maharashtra on the instructions of his bosses. But he is not likely to succeed,” he noted.

On the other hand, NCP chief spokesperson and Minister of Minority Affairs Nawab Malik said, “The union home minister has said that the governor should not have used such language in his correspondence with the CM. However, Shah should explain what he is going to do about the governor.” Meanwhile, Shiv Sena Member of the Parliament (MP) Arvind Sawant said that his party does not need a lecture on secularism. “The suspicion that the governor has expressed on the word 'secular' is hurting the dignity of the post of governor and the Constitution. The president needs to pay attention as the governor takes an oath in the name of the Constitution, which has the word 'secularism'. So, what is the crime in practising it in reality?" he asked.

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