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Maharashtra Governor Koshyari ready to quit over Shivaji remarks: BJP leaders

MUMBAI: The speculations are rife that Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari will be removed or he himself will step down after the controversy erupted over his “controversial and defamatory” remarks against Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He made the objectionable remarks on November 18.

On Monday, a senior BJP leader said that Koshyari has himself expressed his desire to step down from the governor post. Sources said that the governor may write to the President of India requesting to relieve him from the governor post with immediate effect.

“In the personal meeting with senior BJP leaders, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari expressed his desire to step down. He no longer wants to stay back in the governor chair as there is demand for his removal from every quarter of the society. Once this is finalised, it will be conveyed officially,” said a senior BJP leader, requesting anonymity.

However, the Governor Office denied the report of Koshyari stepping down. The Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) welcomed the decision of Koshyari stepping down from the governor post. The party said that it is a good thing that the governor expressed his desire to step down. “This is the effect of our call for the Maharashtra bandh against Koshyari’s remark on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” a senior party leader said.

Koshyari was in Delhi for a two days tour. Sources said that during his Delhi tour, he met a couple

of senior BJP leaders where he himself expressed the desire to step down. “BJP top leadership wants to gauge the public mood whether removing incumbent Maharashtra governor will send the right message or will it benefit the Opposition in the state. The decision on this is likely to be taken after the Gujarat elections,” source added.

November 18: During a convocation speech, Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari stirred the controversy saying Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is an icon of the old era while Union minister Nitin Gadkari is a modern day idol

July 29: Koshyari in his earlier controversial statement undermined the effort of Marathi manoos. He said Mumbai and Thane will be left with no money and cease to be a “financial capital” if members of the Gujarati and Rajasthani communities are “removed” from the state

February 14: Koshyari had also mocked the 19 th century social reformers Savitribai and Jyotirao Phule for “getting married at a young age. Savitribai was married off when she was ten years old… and her husband (Jyotirao) was 13 years old. Now imagine, what would the boy and girl have been doing after marriage? What would they have been thinking?”