Maharashtra Guv BS Koshyari's comments on Mumbai cause massive row: All you need to know

Koshyari says if Gujaratis & Rajasthanis were to leave, Mumbai would lose its identity as country’s financial capital; parties chafe at insult to ‘Marathi Manoos’ & Maharashtra

Sanjay JogUpdated: Saturday, July 30, 2022, 11:05 PM IST
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BS Koshyari |

Mumbai: Maharashtra Governor B S Koshyari has ignited a controversy with his purported statement on Friday that if Gujaratis and Rajasthanis were to leave Mumbai and Thane, there would be no money left in Maharashtra and Mumbai would lose its identity as the financial capital of the country.

The governor claimed that Gujaratis and Rajasthanis had made a remarkable contribution towards Mumbai’s premier status. His remarks riled not only the opposition parties — currently comprising the Shiv Sena, MNS, NCP and the Congress, but also the Shinde camp. They unanimously agreed that no insult to Maharashtra would be tolerated.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut dared Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his camp to condemn the governor’s statement, as it was an insult to the ‘Marathi Manoos’ and Maharashtra.

“Sometimes, I tell people that if Gujaratis and Rajasthanis leave, there would be no money left in Mumbai and it would no longer be the financial capital. Gujarati and Marwari communities have contributed a lot to the development of Mumbai and Thane,” said Koshyari, attending a function for the naming of a square in Andheri west after the late Smt Shantidevi Champalalji Kothari.

In a series of tweets, Sanjay Raut came down heavily on Koshyari. “Now at least, awaken, ‘Marathya’ (‘Marathi Manoos’), awaken. The BJP governor should reveal why he installed the slimy government after breaking up the Shiv Sena. Those from the disloyal group (Shinde camp) will not awaken. Marathya, you alone will have to do so.”

“Immediately after the BJP-sponsored chief minister took over in Maharashtra, the insult of the ‘Marathi Manoos’ and that of Shivraaya has begun. If the group (the Shinde faction), which deserted the party out of pride, is going to remain silent even after hearing this, they had better not take the name of the Shiv Sena. CM Shinde…at least condemn the governor. This is an insult to hardworking Marathi people,” said Raut.

“In short, are Maharashtra and Marathi people beggars? Even Morarji Desai did not insult 105 Marathi martyrs like this. Chief Minister Shinde...Are you listening? Or is Maharashtra different? If you have a shred of self-respect, first ask for the governor’s resignation… How much are you leaning before Delhi?’’ he asked.

‘‘People who took 50 boxes (in an allusion to the alleged exchange of money after the rebellion in Shiv Sena) are now hiding in trees and mountains...Jai Maharashtra!” he declared in another tweet.

The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, whose proximity to the BJP has markedly risen ahead of the BMC elections, has also criticised the governor, asking him not to stick his nose in unnecessary matters and informing him this is the first warning.

MNS general secretary Sandeep Deshpande said, “This is the first warning to the governor. He has come here as the governor, we respect him and respect his position; he should stay here with dignity, he should not engage in unnecessary issues.” To a question on whether he would speak to senior BJP leaders about the governor’s controversial statement, given the rising bonhomie between the BJP and the MNS, he replied, “The governor is not of the BJP, he is neutral, so we will tell him.”

Another MNS leader, Anil Shidore, said, “The continuous creation of wealth and the influx of capital is possible because of a society with an advanced vision, educated and skilled manpower, a great tradition of enlightenment and a political, cultural and social environment with trade and industry. The honourable governor should know the history of Maharashtra.”

NCP legislator Anil Mitkari targeted the governor saying, “The ‘Marathi Manoos’ from Maharashtra and Mumbai is capable and efficient. Many kingdoms are fed by the ‘Marathi Manoos’. We are honest people. You have insulted Marathi people; apologize to Maharashtra as soon as possible.’’

The state Congress general secretary, Sachin Sawant, said, “It is terrible that the governor of a state defames the very people of the state. Keeping aside Gujarati and Rajasthani issues, he should be sent back immediately. During his reign, not only has the status of the institution of the governor and the political tradition of Maharashtra deteriorated, but Maharashtra too has been continuously disrespected.”

The Shinde camp spokesman, Deepak Kesarkar, claimed that the post of the governor is a constitutional one and therefore, the Centre should instruct him to desist from such remarks. “Every community has a share in building Mumbai. However, the Marathi people too have a big share in it. The Parsi community has made a great contribution in the industrial development of Mumbai,” he said.

Kesarkar further stated that the MLAs from Shinde camp would meet Chief Minister Eknath Shinde after he completed his three-day visit to various parts of Maharashtra. “Governors should protect the sentiments of the state. I will appeal to the CM to convey the feelings of the Marathi people to the Central government on the statement made by the governor,” he added.

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