Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has courted controversy by saying that if Gujaratis and Rajasthanis are removed from the state, he would run out of money. His statement on Friday has drawn a backlash from leaders of all political parties.
Addressing a meeting in Mumbai’s Andheri on Friday, Koshyari said, “…if the people of Gujarati and Rajasthan are removed from Maharashtra, especially Mumbai and Thane, there would be no money left here. Call Mumbai the financial capital , but if these (Gujarati and Rajasthani) people are not here, it will not be called financial capital.”
#I WILL SEE | If Gujaratis and Rajasthanis are removed from Maharashtra, especially Mumbai and Thane, there would be no money left here. Mumbai could not remain the financial capital of the country – Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari pic.twitter.com/l3SlOFMc0v
— ANI (@ANI) July 30, 2022
On Saturday, the governor said his remarks had been “misconstrued” and asked political parties “not to create controversy”.
“I had no intention to belittle the Marathi people. I only talked about the contribution of Gujarati and Rajasthani people. It is the Marathi population that has developed Maharashtra to its present position… it is not about demeaning the people marathi
“But my statement was misinterpreted, as always. Marathi people have played the main role in the development of Maharashtra. We have started looking at things from a political prism, and we have to change that. The praise of ‘one community cannot be the insult of another. Political parties should not create controversy. I will never insult Marathi people,” Koshyari said.
Reacting to his statement, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said that no one could deny the contribution of Marathi people to the development of Mumbai. “We do not endorse the statement made by the Governor. It is his personal statement. In fact, no one can deny the contribution of Marathi people in the development of Mumbai,” he said.
The BJP distanced itself from Koshyari’s comments. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told reporters in Dhule, “The BJP does not endorse the governor’s statement. The role of the Marathis (sons of the soil) is immense in Mumbai, Maharashtra.” He added that Marathi industrialists and entrepreneurs have contributed immensely and won recognition not only in Maharashtra but globally.
BJP MP Ashish Shelar said, “We do not agree with the Governor’s statement on Mumbai. Maharashtra and Mumbai have been built on the hard work, sweat and sacrifice of Marathi manoos.”
Meanwhile, former chief minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said he was “not satisfied” with Koshyari’s explanation. “The governor needs to apologize,” he said.
“He has not only hurt the Marathi people but also divided the Hindus. The governor comes here under oath. Is it his job to divide communities? If it is a crime, he should be punished by law,” Thackeray added.
Earlier, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut had condemned the remarks and said the Governor had insulted Marathi workers. “Soon after BJP sponsored PM came to power, Marathi man is being insulted,” Raut tweeted.
As soon as the BJP sponsored Chief Minister in Maharashtra started insulting Marathi man and Shiv Raya.. If the group who expressed personal pride will remain silent even after hearing this, no mention the name of Shiv Sena.. CM Shinde.. atleast condemn the governor. This is an insult to Marathi working people..
Listen… Listen… pic.twitter.com/dOvC2B0CFu
— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) July 30, 2022
Congress spokesperson Jairam Ramesh said on Saturday, “His name is ‘Koshiyari’. But as a governor there is not an iota of ‘intelligence’ in what he says and does. He is sitting on the chair only for we faithfully obey the order of “we two.”
His name is ‘Koshiyari’. But as a governor there is not an iota of “intelligence” in what he says and does. He is sitting in the chair only because we faithfully obey the command of “the two of us”.
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) July 30, 2022
Congress leader Sachin Sawant also reacted to the statement. “It is terrible that the governor of a state defames the people of the same state. During his reign, the standard of the Governor’s institution and the political tradition of Maharashtra have not only deteriorated, but Maharashtra has also been continuously belittled,” he said.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray in a tweet said, “If you don’t know anything about the history of Maharashtra, don’t talk about it.”
“Don’t fool the Marathi man!” pic.twitter.com/0to6ByNyPk
— Raj Thackeray (@RajThackeray) July 30, 2022
NCP’s Supriya Sule hit out at the governor: “Enough. Time to send the governor to his home state, Uttarakhand.
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said the governor’s remarks were an “insult to the hard work of the people of Maharashtra” and demanded an apology from him.
“This is an insult to the hard work of the people of Maharashtra and Marathi Manoos who have worked day in and day out to make the state the leading state in the country. The governor should apologize immediately, otherwise we will demand that replace him,” Chaturvedi tweeted.