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Book row: NCP accuses Udayanraje of 'surrendering' to BJP

Book row: NCP accuses Udayanraje of 'surrendering' to BJP

The NCP on Tuesday attacked former party member and BJP leader Udayanraje Bhosale for "not speaking" against the ruling party at the Centre amid a controversy over the book comparing Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chhatrapati Shivaji. Maharashtra minister and NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said Bhosale, a direct descendant of the 17th Century Maratha king, has left with no option "but to surrender before the BJP".

Bhosale was an NCP Lok Sabha MP before crossing over to the BJP last year. He lost his Satara seat in the bypoll. A book written by Delhi BJP functionary Jay Bhagwan Goyal, titled 'Aaj Ke Shivaji: Narendra Modi', has been criticised by Opposition parties as a sycophantic effort that demeans the legend of one of history's most formidable empire builders.

Earlier in the day, Bhosale condemned the book and said nobody in the world can be compared with Chhatrapati Shivaji. In a veiled swipe at NCP chief Sharad Pawar, he said only the Maratha warrior king can be called 'Janata Raja' (enlightened king).

Hitting out, Malik said, "Udayanraje has no option but to surrender before the BJP after joining that party. He did not condemn Goyal nor did he speak against the BJP." Referring to Bhosale's 'Janata Raja' remark, Malik claimed the phrase was being deliberately to divert attention from the original issue relating to the book. He also said the NCP never used the phrase for Pawar, but it is the people who labelled the veteran leader so.

"The phrase is being discussed to divert the attention from the original issue. Goyal's deed was not even mentioned as the BJP leaders point towards others," Malik said. Malik also said Union minister Prakash Javadekar's statement that Goyal had apologised and withdrawn the book was not enough. The author himself should make such a statement, he demanded.

Another NCP minister Jitendra Awhad also defended the "Janata Raja" honorific for Sharad Pawar while taking an apparent swipe at BJP top leadership. "...Some people say, we entered politics holding hand of him (Pawar)...some people have scored headlines only by criticising him (Pawar). Yes, he is a 'Janata Raja'," Awhad said.

Pawar has made the maximum contribution towards Maharashtra's all-round growth in the last 60 years. Hence, he is 'Janata Raja', Awhad added..

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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