Mumbai: Even though the controversy over Governor BS Koshyari’s remark that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is an icon of older times is yet to subside, senior BJP leader and Higher and Technical Education Minister Chandrakant Patil on Friday stoked a fresh controversy by saying that social reformists including Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, BR Ambedkar and Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil started schools by begging without asking for grant/subsidy.
Mr Patil was slammed by the NCP and the Congress who claimed that the BJP has been deliberately insulting icons of Maharashtra.
Mr Patil, who was speaking at the function in Paithan in the Marathwada region, said, "Karmveer Bhaurao Patil, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Mahatma Jyotiba Phule started schools. The government did not give a subsidy when they started the schools. Instead, they started schools and ran them by begging. People gave them money. In those days there were people who gave Rs 10. Now there are people giving Rs 10 crore."
Patil slammed by the opposition
State NCP chief Jayant Patil condemned the minister's comment. “Mahatma Phule was also an entrepreneur. The constructive social works built by them are done with their own hard-earned money. So Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar was a lawyer, journalist and professor," he said. He reminded the minister that Dr Ambedkar was the Union Labor Minister when he established the People's Education Society.
On the other hand,the state Congress chief Nana Patole asked whether Mr Chandrakant Patil knows the difference between 'begging' and 'people's welfare'?
"Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil opened the doors of education by opening schools for the children of poor and poor people of Bahujan society. These great men gave everything they had for the education of the children of Bahujan society. Money was collected from people in the form of subscriptions, donations and schools were opened," he said.
NCP MLA Amol Mitkari alleged that the minister has insulted three great men. ‘’They had established schools through public enrolment and participation,’’ he said.
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