Thursday, August 11, 2022

Maharashtra governor kicks up row with comment on Mumbai

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has said that there will be no money left in Mumbai and it will cease to be the financial capital of the country if Gujaratis and Rajasthanis are removed from the city.
As his statement made during an event on Friday evening kicked up a row with political parties objecting to it, the governor on Saturday said his comments were “misconstrued”, and also made it clear that he had “no intention of belittling the hard work of the Marathi-speaking people in the progress and development of Maharashtra”.
Criticising the governor, the Congress demanded an apology from him.
“I tell people here that if Gujaratis and Rajasthanis are removed from Maharashtra, especially Mumbai and Thane, you will have no money and Mumbai will not be a financial capital,” the governor said after the naming ceremony of a chowk (square) in Andheri, a western suburb of Mumbai.
A release issued by the Raj Bhavan said Koshyari praised the contribution of Rajasthani-Marwari and Gujarati communities in making Mumbai the financial capital of the country.
The governor said the Rajasthani-Marwari community is living in different parts of the country and also in countries like Nepal and Mauritius.
“Wherever members of this community go, they not only do business, but also do acts of philanthropy by creating schools, hospitals,” he said.
As his remarks triggered a controversy, Koshyari issued a statement on Saturday, saying that he was only speaking about the contribution of the Gujarati and Rajasthani communities to the trade and industry in the city.
“In doing so, I had no intention of belittling the Marathi speaking people. My comments were misconstrued,” he said.
Koshyari said he was proud of serving as the governor in the illustrious state of Maharashtra.
“Mumbai is Maharashtra’s pride and also the country’s financial capital. I also tried to learn Marathi in a short span of time,” he said.
Koshyari said Marathi industrialists have made a name for themselves not just in the state, but also in the country and across the globe. “There is no question of belittling Marathi people,” he said.
The governor said his comments were misconstrued as it has become a habit to view everything through a political prism. We need to change this attitude, he said.
“Lauding one community doesn’t mean insulting another. Political parties shouldn’t create an unnecessary controversy. I will never insult Maharashtra and Marathi people,” he said.
State Congress spokesman Atul Londhe slammed the governor over his remarks, saying that they smack of his hatred for the state. He also demanded an apology from the governor.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Shiv Sena also lashed out at the governor.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said if Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had self-respect, he should demand the resignation of the governor.
Deepak Kesarkar, spokesperson of the Shinde-led faction of Shiv Sena, also criticised the governor.


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