Mumbai: The NCP has hit out at the Maharashtra government for “forgetting” the anniversaries of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, reformist Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj, social reformer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and BR Ambedkar from the official calendar for 2019.
The calendar, distributed to all departments in Mantralaya and all government offices and organisations across the state, has omitted any reference to the death anniversaries of the legends, including Phule (November 28) and Ambedkar (December 6), which are observed by millions.
The omission has provided ammunition to the Opposition, with Congress’s Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil attacking the government for “the extremely serious lapses” and demanding to know who will be held responsible for these. “This (BJP-Shiv Sena) government exploits the names of all these towering personalities only for political purposes but has forgotten them in the annual calendar,” Vikhe-Patil said.
Nationalist Congress Party leader Dhananjay Munde said the “glaring omissions are an insult to the memories of the two great personalities Phule and Ambedkar” and demanded an apology from Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. “The CM must give an explanation on how the names and pictures of these stalwarts were dropped from the calendar, who is responsible for it and what action will be initiated against them,” Munde said.
Ambedkar’s death anniversary is observed as ‘Mahaparinivan Day’ annually when lakhs of Dalits and Buddhist followers converge at Dadar, Mumbai, to pay homage to his memory. There has been no official reaction from the government.