Congress minister Vijay Wadettiwar stoked controversy after he termed sadhus as mentally handicapped and busy in making money for themselves. Wadettiwar claimed that the new breed of sadhus are unworthy.
Wadettiwar, who has been under attack from various pro-Maratha organisations for creating a divide between them and OBC on the reservation issue, however, said there has been a huge difference between sadhus and saints. "Maharashtra has a rich cultural background in which saints have played a major role in the state’s development. Saints devote their lives for society and they are guides for the people. On the other hand, sadhus extract money from the people as they are interested to build property," noted the minister.
He called upon the OBC community not to follow sadhus but chart their path on the principles laid down by saints. "Don’t believe in sadhus. Today’s sadhus keep the people engaged in blind faith and bigotry," he reiterated.
Wadettitwar was attacked by BJP for making derogatory remarks against sadhus. The party has demanded that the minister should apologise or face the consequences.
However, Wadettiwar said he will stick to his statement saying those who want to criticise him are free to do so.