Keep ice on your head, avoid controversial remarks: CM Shinde, Ajit tell Mahayuti candidates, cadres

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Keep ice on your head, avoid controversial remarks: CM Shinde, Ajit tell Mahayuti candidates, cadres
Mumbai: As campaigning in Maharashtra gathers momentum, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has urged Mahayuti candidates, leaders and functionaries not to make any controversial statements and attract the wrath of the Opposition and the electorate.

In an emotional appeal at the Mahayuti rally in Pune late on Thursday night, CM Shinde went on to add that the alliance is looking to increase the voting margin of its nominees and not reduce it.

“So, refrain from making controversial remarks and from objectionable behaviour. Our focus is to win the maximum seats in Maharashtra and thereby contribute to the 400 plus target at the national level to make Narendra Modi the Prime Minister for the third term,” said CM Shinde.

Deputy Chief Minister and NCP National President, Ajit Pawar also advised the Mahayuti functionaries at the rally to be polite.

“Keep ice on your head before leaving home. Do not get angry but be patient and cordial,’’ advised Ajit Pawar in the same rally.

“The Mahayuti leaders and functionaries should take due care not to be arrogant and boastful as it is not Maharashtra’s culture. Our aim is to win more than 45 seats in Maharashtra and not less than that. Therefore, our behaviour in public places and also in rallies should be decent,” he added.

The advice by Shinde and Pawar came in the wake of unsavoury statements by the Shiv Sena nominee from Kolhapur, Sanjay Mandlik against the Congress’ nominee and Chhatrapati Shivaji’s descendent Chhatrapati Shrimant Shahu Maharaj and also by BJP nominee and state Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar in connection with the 1984 riots.

Mandlik stoked controversy after he questioned the royal credentials of Chhatrapati Shrimant Shahu Maharaj. Mandlik commented that the present Maharaj (Chhatrapati) from Kolhapur is “not the true heir, but is adopted”, and it is “the people of Kolhapur” who are the genuine legacy holders.

NCP SP chief Sharad Pawar assailed Mandlik’s statement saying it shows the level the Mahayuti leaders have stooped to. He further said that adoption is not a new thing in royal families.

Further, former Congress Minister Satej Patil demanded that Mandlik should offer an apology to the people of Kolhapur who would not tolerate objectionable statements against Chhatrapati Shrimant Shahu Maharaj.

After strong criticism from various quarters Mandlik issued a clarification fearing damage to his poll prospects.

Furthermore, Mungantiwar triggered a row after he made references to the 1984 riots in Delhi on how spouses and their children were separated and a “brother and sister were stripped naked and made to lie on a cot”.

The Congress party took strong objection to this and filed a complaint with the Election Commission of India urging it to cancel Mungantiwar’s candidature for his incendiary speech.

Though Mungantiwar tried to counter the criticism by accusing the Congress of cherry-picking certain parts of his speech and distorting his statements, he received a lot of flak on social media for his speech, leading the party seniors to advice caution to its candidates.

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