Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday (October 1) took a jibe at the Maharashtra government over Culture Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar’s visit to the UK to bring back Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s revered weapon to the country, and said that Shiv Sena is the real ‘'wagh nakh' of the Maratha ruler.
Raut alleged that the BJP tried to weaken the Shiv Sena by “splitting” it. ‘Wagh nakh' is a tiger claw-shaped weapon of the great Maratha ruler who used it to kill Bijapur sultanate’s general Afzal Khan in 1659.
Notably, Maharashtra Culture Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and officials from his department are slated to go to the UK on October 3 to get the revered weapon back.
In June last year, Shiv Sena had split following a massive revolt led by Eknath Shinde against Uddhav Thackeray which led to the collapse of the latter’s government. Shinde then had joined hands with the BJP to form government in the state.
The Election Commission had allotted the name ‘Shiv Sena’ and its poll symbol ‘bow and arrow’ to the faction led by Shinde in February this year. Thackeray had moved the Supreme Court to challenge the EC's decision.
"It is an insult to the wagh nakh, which is the pride and matter of self-respect for Maharashtra. Shiv Sena is the real wagh nakh of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, which (the party) has fought all obstacles coming in way of the state,'' the Rajya Sabha member while taking a potshot at the BJP Minister Mungantiwar and other leaders.
During a protracted military engagement in 1659, the legendary Maratha leader held metal claws, or wagh nakh, concealed in his hand and is said to have disembowelled his opponent Afzal Khan – the commander of the opposing Bijapur army.
The Victoria and Albert ( V and A) Museum is all set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Maharashtra government next week in this regard.
The MoU is expected to be signed on Tuesday, and coincides with Maharashtra’s 350th anniversary celebrations of the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji. It is then expected to be dispatched to India later this year for an agreed period.
UBT MP slams BJP
Raut alleged that by "splitting" the party (Shiv Sena) in an attempt to weaken it, the BJP has made the state a "doormat in front of Delhi."
''What will you do by bringing the weapon which was used to protect the self-respect and integrity of Maharashtra. You have made the state a slave of Delhi,'' Raut further alleged.
The UBT leader also slammed HD Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) for joining hands with the BJP and asked the party to drop the word ‘secular’ from its name.
The Janata Dal (Secular), headed by former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, last month joined the BJP-led NDA and forged an alliance with the saffron party ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls to fight the Congress in Karnataka.
(With PTI inputs)