Vada-Pav spices up politics in Maharashtra

The spicy `vada-pav`, called poor man`s burger in Maharashtra, had perhaps never generated such political heat in the state before.

Last Updated: Jul 05, 2011, 16:32 PM IST

Pune: The spicy `vada-pav`, called poor man`s
burger in Maharashtra, had perhaps never generated such
political heat in the state before.

First it was Shiv Sena, which set up `Shiv Vada Pav`
stalls in Mumbai, followed by the `Swabhiman Sanghatana` led
by state cabinet minister Narayan Rane`s son Nitesh, which
raised `Chhatrapati Vada-Pav` stalls alongside Shiv Sena`s
outlets last week, challenging the Mumbai civic body to first
take action against Shiv Sena`s "illegal" stalls.

Now, a Maratha body, owing allegiance to NCP MP Udayan
Raje Bhosale, has also jumped into the fray, threatening
agitation if Nitesh Rane failed to remove the prefix
"Chhatrapati" from the brand name, saying it is an insult to
the Marathi warrior king Shivaji.
Opposition to the `Chhatrapati Vada-Pav` stems from the
word `Chhatrapati` which, in Marathi denotes a royal title and
lineage with the Maratha warrior king. MP Bhosale himself is a
descendant of king Shivaji.

President of Satara-based `Chhatrapati Pratishthan`
Shivaji Bhosale said that Udayan Raje would initiate
legal action against the promoters of `Chhatrapati Vada-Pav`
if the tag word `Chhatrapati` was not removed by the deadline
of July 10, by `Swabhiman`, a social organisation that
undertakes activities beyond the Congress party fold.
Pushkaraj Ghodge-Patil, lawyer representing Udayan Raje
Bhosale said, "To give a tag of Chhatrapati to a snack sold on
footpaths is tantamount to defaming a great personality like
Shivaji Maharaj and insulting his inspirational memory across
the state and the country".

The Chhatrapati Pratishthan was joined by another Maratha
outfit `Sambhai Brigade`, as its president Pradip Salunke
declared its support to the proposed agitation, condemning
both `Shiv Vada-Pav` of the Sena and the `Chhatrapati` brand
of `Swabhiman` for trivializing the heritage of Shivaji
Maharaj.

PTI