Mumbai: Hitting back at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for comparing Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chhatrapati Shivaji, Shiv Sena has said the Maratha king never played “politics of riots”, said media reports on Thursday.

Speaking at a function to launch the book ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Aur Musalman’ on Wednesday, senior Sena MP Sanjay Raut said the characteristics of the 17th century Maratha king were in contrast to what was being projected by the ruling BJP. Senior journalist and author Janab Saeed Hameed has written the book.

“Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath recently likened PM Modi to Shivaji Maharaj. However, he is forgetting that Chhatrapati Shivaji never played the politics of riots,” Raut said.
Later speaking to reporters, the Sena leader took a jibe at the BJP over the controversial Rafale fighter jet deal. “Everybody is eager to know how did the cost of the fighter jets escalate by three times of its original price after the contract was awarded to a company with no experience in the defence sector. A sudden blast (statement by former French president Francois Hollande) was also surprising,” he said, as quoted by Zeenews.

The Congress has been attacking the BJP-led Government over the Rafale deal, alleging corruption and violation of rules by the Prime Minister. The controversy took a turn when Hollande claimed that India had proposed Reliance Defence’s name as the offset partner for Dassault Aviation, leaving France with no choice.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson Nawab Malik, also present at the event, said Raut had taken a “secular position” in favour of Muslims after the RSS gave a new definition to ‘Hindu Rashtra’. He was referring to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s recent statement that ‘Hindu Rashtra’ did not mean it had no place for Muslims as the concept was inclusive of all faiths and religions.

NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad said Shivaji was a king of masses who fought against atrocities. “He (Shivaji) never played the politics of dividing people in the name of caste and religion,” he said.