Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Supriya Sule on Tuesday said not allowing Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar to speak at the inauguration ceremony of Sant Tukaram Shila Mandir in Dehu is an insult to the state.
"As Ajit Pawar is the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Guardian Minister of Pune, a request was made to the Prime Minister's Office to allow him to speak, but the PMO did not respond. It is very painful and insulting. Not allowing him to speak is Maharashtra's insult," said the Baramati MP.
During the inauguration ceremony, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and LoP Devendra Fadnavis gave speeches, however, Pawar wasn't allowed to speak.
Earlier in March, during a function attended by PM Modi, Pawar had brought to his notice the controversial remarks about Maratha king Shivaji and Mahatma and Savitribai Phule by Governor BS Kodhyari saying that such statements are not acceptable to Maharashtra.
Congress leader Sachin Sawant said Pawar's speech in March might have "angered" the PM and hence, he was not allowed to speak today.
Meanwhile, highlighting the country's cultural heritage, PM Modi today said India is eternal as it is the land of saints.
"We are proud to be one of the oldest living civilizations in the world. If the credit for this goes to anyone, it is to the saint tradition and the sages of India. India is eternal because it is the land of saints. In every era, some great soul has been descending to give direction to our country and society. Today the nation is celebrating the birth anniversary of Sant Kabirdas," PM Modi said during his address on the occasion in Dehu.
He said Dehu's Shila Mandir is not only a centre of power of devotion but also paves the way for the cultural future of India.
PM Modi further said, "Saints like Tukaram played a very important role in the life of a national hero like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. When Veer Savarkar ji was punished in the freedom struggle, he used to sing the abhang of Tukaram ji while playing handcuffs like chipli in jail." He called for carrying forward the cultural heritage of India.
"To strengthen our national unity, today it is our responsibility to keep our ancient identity and traditions alive. Therefore, today when modern technology and infrastructure are becoming synonymous with India's development, we are making sure that both development and heritage move forward together," added the Prime Minister.
(With IANS inputs)