Raj sees `caste politics` behind shifting of Kondadev statue

MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Wednesday criticised "caste politics" behind the shifting of the statue of Dadoji Kondadev from Lal Mahal in Pune.

Last Updated: Jan 12, 2011, 22:45 PM IST

Mumbai: MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Wednesday
criticised "caste politics" behind the shifting of the statue
of Dadoji Kondadev from Lal Mahal in Pune.

Kondadev, a Brahmin, is considered to be Shivaji`s
teacher, but some Maratha organisations including Sambhaji
Brigade questioned veracity of this assumption, and demanded
that his statue be removed from the historical palace, Lal
Mahal, which houses statues of Shivaji and his mother too.

Local NCP had backed this demand.

Referring to this episode, Raj said at a rally, "We
cannot determine one`s teacher on the basis of caste...Dr
Ambedkar`s teacher was also a brahmin. So, would you change
that piece of history? What message we are giving to the next
generation with such incidents?" he asked.

The rally had been organised to condemn the thrashing
which MNS MLA Harshwardhan Jadhav allegedly received at the
hands of police last week when he got into a scuffle with them
during the Chief Minister`s visit to Aurangabad.

Raj lashed out at Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and
Home Minister R R Patil (both from NCP) for backing Sambhaji
Brigade and not taking any action against despite its alleged
involvement in various incidents of violence.

Raj narrated another incident where Sambhaji Brigade
activists allegedly threw stones at a helicopter which was
supposed to carry then Chief Minister Ashok Chavan last year
at fort Shivneri. NCP Minister Dilip Walse-Patil travelled in
the helicopter.

"He (Walse-Patil) could have even died there. But no
action was taken against the Brigade. In fact they have strong
backing of R R Patil and Ajit Pawar," he claimed.

Raj alleged that the residence of Kumar Ketkar, editor of
daily Loksatta, was attacked by an organisation headed by
NCP`s Vinayak Mete, but instead of any punishment, Mete was
made an MLC by NCP.

PTI