- "Anyone with self-respect will not continue in the post," Mr Pawar said
- Amit Shah said Governor could've chosen words better, he pointed out
- Sharad Pawar, 79, had stood by the Chief Minister
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar hit out at Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari over his controversial exchange with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray last week over the reopening of places of worship in the state.
"Anyone with self-respect will not continue in the post," Mr Pawar, an ally of Mr Thackeray's Shiv Sena, said on Monday, pointing out that Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said that Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari could have chosen his words better.
"Anyone with self-respect will not continue in the post. Who are we to make any demand," Mr Pawar told reporters in Osmanabad district where was taking stock of the flood-affected areas. "After the Union Home Minister's statement expressing disappointment over language in the letter, anybody with self-respect will take a call on whether to continue in the post or not."
"If Union Home Minister has raised concern over the language used by Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, it's significant," he said.
Mr Shah on Saturday told News18 that " (Bhagat Singh) Koshyari could have chosen his words better".
Last Monday, the Governor wrote to Uddhav Thackeray "requesting him to announce forthwith" the reopening of places of worship with Covid precautions. "You have been a strong votary of Hindutva. You had publicly espoused your devotion for Lord Rama by visiting Ayodhya after taking charge as Chief Minister. You had visited the Vitthal Rukmini Mandir in Pandharpur and performed the puja on Ashadhi Ekadashi," Mr Koshyari wrote.
"I wonder if you are receiving any divine premonition to keep postponing the reopening of places of worship time and again or have you turned 'secular' yourselves, a term you hated?"
Hitting back at Mr Koshyari on the same day, Mr Thackeray said his Hindutva did not require a certificate from the Governor or anyone and that he would take a decision after careful consideration. "You said I am getting divine premonitions? Maybe you get them but I am not so big," he wrote back in Marathi.
Sharad Pawar, 79, had stood by the Chief Minister. He had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he was "shocked and surprised" at the language used by the Governor.
Maharashtra the second opposition-ruled state where a politically-active Governor has taken on the Chief Minister. In Bengal, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has been a relentless critic of Mamata Banerjee's government and he has made it clear on social media.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)