Protests were held in Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, and Aurangabad demanding the removal of the governor.
Koshyari’s remark that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was an icon of “olden days” caused a huge furore which snowballed further after deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis appeared to defend the beleaguered governor.
“One thing is clear Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj will remain a hero and idol of Maharashtra and our country till the Sun and the Moon exist. Even Koshyari had no doubts about this in his mind. Thus, there are various meanings derived from the remarks made by the governor,” Fadnavis had said.
The protesters — comprising workers from Shiv Sena (UBT), Congress, and the NCP — also slammed BJP national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi for “insulting” Chhatrapati Shivaji during a television debate.
BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Udayanraje Bhosale, a descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji, has demanded the ouster of the governor and Trivedi over their remarks. Bhosale said he will decide his future course of action if no decision is taken on his demand.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Supriya Sule slammed Fadnavis for his remarks: “I was expecting more from Fadnavis. He was the CM for five years. You may have a different ideology, but if Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is being insulted and if you are defending it, then it is unfortunate. Going forward, the BJP has no right to take the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.”
Shiv Sena MLA Sanjay Gaikwad, from the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led faction, has also demanded that Koshyari be shifted out of the state.
“The governor should understand that the ideals of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj never age and he cannot be compared to any other great person in the world. My request to BJP leaders at the Centre is that a person who does not know the history of the state and how it functions, be sent somewhere else,” the MLA said.
The governor had made the remarks after conferring D.Litt degrees on senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari and NCP president Sharad Pawar at an event held in Aurangabad.
(With inputs from agencies)