The Shiv Sena Monday asked Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to declare that the proposed statue of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji off the Mumbai coast will be the tallest in the world, and not be “scared” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah over the issue.
The Sena said the Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Maharashtra unit chief Jayant Patil has claimed the height of Shivaji’s statue has been decreased to ensure that the ‘Statue of Unity’, dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, remains the tallest.
It said Fadnavis should use the same courage that he displayed in announcing quota for the Maratha community, and not be “scared” of Prime Minister Modi and Shah over the issue of Shivaji statue’s height. Decreasing the height of Shivaji’s statue to make Sardar Patel’s statue look taller is “narrow and distorted mindset”, the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
“Fadnavis should use the same courage that he showed while granting reservation to the Maratha community and fearlessly announce that Shivaji’s statue would be the tallest in the world, and not get scared of Amit Shah and Modi. This will not diminish the prestige of Sardar Patel,” it said.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party reminded Fadnavis that earlier, then Union finance minister Chintamanrao Deshmukh in the Jawaharlal Nehru government had shown courage to tender his resignation, to ensure Mumbai stayed with Maharashtra.
It rued that while the ‘Statue of Unity’ has already been unveiled and opened for public viewing, not a single brick has been laid for the construction of Shivaji’s statue. There are now doubts being raised if there was an internal conspiracy to make Shivaji’s statue seem like a dwarf compared to the structure dedicated to Sardar Patel, it said.