Mumbai: Under flak for terming social reformer late Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj as a mere “social worker” in a tweet, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Thursday apologised for the post and said that the thought of disrespecting the legendary ruler can never come to his mind.
BJP-nominated Rajya Sabha member Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje had earlier asked Fadnavis to apologise for “hurting the sentiments” of the followers of Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj through his tweet.
In a tweet from his official Twitter handle @YuvrajSambhaji, the MP said, “Former chief minister @Dev_Fadnavis should apologise for yesterday’s episode. The sentiments of the followers of Shiv-Shahu (Chhatrapati Shivaji and Shahu Maharaj), including mine, are hurt.”
Replying to the tweet by Chhatrapati Sambhaji, Fadnavis said, “I had asked my office to make the change in the tweet when I learned about the earlier mistake. The thought of disrespecting him (Shahu Maharaj) cannot ever come into my mind. I admit that sentiments of people are hurt. I apologise for it.”
In his tweet posted Wednesday as a tribute to Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, king of the erstwhile princely state of Kolhapur, on his death anniversary, Fadnavis had called him as a “social worker”.
Shahu Maharaj, a highly respected social reformer, championed the cause of social equality.
Fadnavis, who is currently the Leader of Opposition in the state Legislative Assembly, had deleted the tweet after being trolled and criticised over it.
However, the screenshot of the BJP leader’s tweet was widely circulated on social media with several political leaders, including Sachin Sawant, general secretary of Maharashtra unit the Congress, criticising him over his post.
“Such reference to social reformer Shahu Maharaj reflects the regressive school of thoughts from where he (Fadnavis) comes. It is not surprising that he called him a social worker. RSS always had grudges against Shahu Maharaj, Jyotiba Phule and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. It came out today,” Sawant said in a tweet Wednesday.