The BJP has "nothing to do with the book" by a party leader comparing warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said today, adding that the author has withdrawn the book. . The minister's remarks come amid political controversy in Maharashtra over the comparison of PM Modi with Shivaji in a recently-released book. The Shiv Sena, the Congress and Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) - who are part of the ruling alliance - have been hitting out the BJP.
Calling Shivaji "incomparable", Mr Javadekar said, "The BJP has nothing to do with the book which was brought by Jai Bhagwan Goyal (the author) in his personal capacity. He has also apologised for hurting sentiments of people in Maharashtra and outside. He has withdrawn the book. This should put the controversy to rest."
"#ShivajiMaharaj was a great ruler and a legendary king who worked tirelessly for the welfare of the people. He is an inspiration even today after centuries. We regard him as incomparable with others," the senior BJP leader tweeted.
The book, titled "Aaj Ke Shivaji: Narendra Modi" was released during a religious-cultural meet organised by the Delhi BJP.
Terming it "chamchagiri" or sycophancy, the Sena's Sanjay Raut had said on Monday that Shivaji's descendants should clarify if they like the Prime Minister being likened to him.
The BJP's Rajya Sabha member Sambhaji Raje,a descendant of Shivaji, on Sunday demanded that BJP chief Amit Shah immediately ban the book. "We respect Narendra Modi, who was elected as the prime minister of the country for the second time. But neither (Narendra) Modi nor anybody else in the world can be compared with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj," he said.
Today, the Sena said PM Modi is not the "king of India" and comparing him to warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji only puts him in an "awkward situation".
"Before the Lok Sabha polls, Modi was described as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Now he is called Shivaji Maharaj of this era. Such sycophancy not only results in insult of the country, God and religion, but puts (Narendra) Modi also into an awkward situation," the Sena's mouthpiece Saamana said in its editorial.
"We are not going ahead with the protest since the book has been withdrawn. But the central leadership of the BJP must apologise," Maharashtra Congress chief and minister Balasaheb Thorat said.
(With inputs from PTI)