By Pankaj P. Khelkar: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Monday lamented the sad state of affairs in Maharashtra, calling it the 'worst phase'. The former Maharashtra Chief Minister said in response to a question about the present situation in the state in regard to the recitation of Hanuman Chalisa.
Sharad Pawar said he feels sad to say that at present Maharashtra has lost its tradition. "Now, we are experiencing the worst phase; the institutional post of chief minister is attacked with derogative remarks."
He said, "Every individual has some emotional attachment to his religion, that should be nurtured in one's heart and home. If someone starts glossing over his/her religious opinions in public, with the intention of creating a rift among different communities to create animosity among groups, it certainly brings adverse effects in society. Such things never happened in Maharashtra in the past."
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On the incident of threats of reciting Hanuman Chalisa at someone else's residence, The NCP leader said, "This cannot be accepted, one needs to follow the religious practices at your own residence but you cannot carry out religious practices at someone else's residence. And if you force your wish to carry out religious practices at my place and if those who respect me immensely clash with you, then the latter cannot be blamed for those clashes."
Further, he urged all political parties to put aside their differences and work towards bringing peace and harmony and restoring Maharashtra's tradition.
Sharad Pawar said personal attacks are happening continuously in Maharashtra and this has stunned him. He said he is optimistic about getting back the positive approach amongst political leaders which they learnt from former CM Yashwantrao Chavhan.
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The tradition of political opposition catching up to discuss matters of importance for the betterment and development of Maharashtra despite voicing criticism on public platforms.
Pawar said, "Let me tell you that I have worked for many years in Maharashtra. Balasaheb Thackrey and I had lots of differences. In public, we never minced words but we would make it a point to catch up at his or my residence and discuss the betterment and development of our state."
The Ranas arrived in Mumbai on Friday morning. The MP-MLA couple had announced that they planned to chant the Hanuman Chalisa outside Matoshree — the residence of Uddhav Thackeray.
Since then, Shiv Sena workers have gathered at various locations in Mumbai, including Matoshree, daring the Rana couple to venture near Matoshree. On Saturday morning, Shiv Sena workers protested outside the residence of Amravati MP Navneet Rana in Mumbai and broke barricades.
On Saturday evening, Ravi Rana and Navneet Rana were arrested by Khar Police.
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